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Bird Street Community Center (The Uphams Corner Community Center Inc.)

 500 Columbia Road
 Dorchester, MA 02125
[P] (617) 2826110 x 21
[F] (617) 2822507
Kevin O'Rourke
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 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2708670

LAST UPDATED: 05/30/2018
Organization DBA Bird Street Community Center
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »

To develop youth's skills and appropriate dispositions for school, work and life success.  Such skills include being academically and vocationally prepared, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and believing in the value of contributing to the community. The Center's multiple and diverse programs cultivate these skills, help youth to stay motivated and engaged, and for them to believe that effort will bring success.

Mission Statement

To develop youth's skills and appropriate dispositions for school, work and life success.  Such skills include being academically and vocationally prepared, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and believing in the value of contributing to the community. The Center's multiple and diverse programs cultivate these skills, help youth to stay motivated and engaged, and for them to believe that effort will bring success.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2016 to June 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,847,118.00
Projected Expense $1,813,916.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • School Age Child Care
  • Youth Development

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

To develop youth's skills and appropriate dispositions for school, work and life success.  Such skills include being academically and vocationally prepared, interpersonal skills, critical thinking, and believing in the value of contributing to the community. The Center's multiple and diverse programs cultivate these skills, help youth to stay motivated and engaged, and for them to believe that effort will bring success.

Background Statement

Originally opened for the public in 1902 as the Street Gym, Bird Street Community Center was founded in 1978 by community members as a non-profit, drop-in youth center. In the mid-1980s, Bird Street began providing after-school child care services for elementary-age children in schools and other settings located in Roxbury and Dorchester. The Center’s youth development programs began to incorporate academic support in 1990, and, in 2005, blossomed into a more structured program.

Over the past 12 years, the Bird Street Community Center has focused on academics and workforce development programs, incorporating college readiness, arts and entrepreneurial skills, athletics, youth leadership development, and individualized supports as the primary calendar of structured activities. Thanks to a long-standing collaboration with the City of Boston, the Center remains at the corner of Bird Street and Columbia Road.  This location is familiar to members of our current Board and staff who grew up attending the Center.

Impact Statement

We work to ensure that high-risk, inner-city children and teenagers have the experiences, skills, and support to make healthy choices and succeed in all of the “next steps” of their lives: middle school, high school, college, vocational technical school, and employment.

Our core organizational goals are to:

-Provide a flexible, supportive space for youth to manage the challenges that confront them on a day-to-day basis.

-Support and promote satisfactory academic progress, namely, completing middle school, graduating from high school, and earning a post-secondary degree or credential.

-Introduce youth to the employment world through entrepreneurial opportunities and various work-based settings to expose them to alternative living wage jobs.

-Assist youth to develop academic and career goals, and what is required to achieve these goals including the removal of barriers that prevent successful achievement.

Needs Statement

Bird Street Community Center works diligently to make a favorable impact on urban youth residing in mainly the Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan neighborhoods. Our youth are considered the most vulnerable: low-income, youth of color with both educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  Many are from single-headed households; some have been exposed to substance abuse, mental health issues, homelessness and violence. The Center's comprehensive array of programs targets the removal of educational and economic deficits experienced by youth, thereby offsetting, to some degree these risk factors.

Our most pressing need is fiscal.  Like many nonprofits, financial sustainability is a challenge. The challenge is to find the funds to safeguard the Center's fiscal stability while making a positive impact on youth's lives. These challenges are exacerbated since we serve low resource, high need communities.
Another challenge is that the demand for youth development and workforce development quality programs far exceed their supply. This gap often pushes us to a financial breaking point in order to meet the rise in demand.  Forging new partnerships and expanding current ones will continue to help in balancing capacity, funds and mission. 

CEO Statement

The Bird Street Community Center meets the day-to-day needs for building strong minds, healthy bodies and outlets for creative expression and social interaction for families and children. Bird Street enables individuals across generations to engage in educational activities and life-long learning. Bird Street is a "second home" for our members, providing space for local events, community gatherings, and celebrations. Bird Street remains vibrant, flexible, and responsive to the changing needs of the children and families of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan.

Board Chair Statement

Bird Street is committed to the education and welfare of children and youth in our communities. The caring relationships we offer are critical to our members. We continue to aim for the highest caliber of services and programs. 

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- Mattapan
The geographic areas served are the Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan neighborhoods of the city of Boston. A majority (69%) of youth live in Dorchester; of which, 39% are from the Upham's Corner area. An additional 13% live in neighboring Roxbury and Mattapan (8%). These three communities have the highest rates of child poverty in the state. Most youth are female (55%) persons of color (75%).

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Centers and Clubs (includes Boys/Girls Clubs)- Multipurpose
  2. Education - Educational Services
  3. Employment - Job Training

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



School Age Child Care

School Age Child Care (SACC) is a licensed after school program, providing 300 children ages 5-13 with academic enrichment, the arts, critical thinking skills, health and wellness and physical activity at eight sites beginning Fall 2009. In the summer, 150 children attend our 8-week Summer Day Getaway Program at Hale Reservation in Westwood, MA and another 80 attend our Summer Sports Camp at Mary Hannon Park.
Budget  $800,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Youth Development

Youth Development serves over 1,000 youth ages 10-22 year round with afternoon, evening, and weekend programming during the school year and full day and evening programs in the summer. We engage urban youth in challenging, character building learning activities, while reinforcing academic success, healthy lifestyles, violence prevention, and job skills training. All programs are intentional, requiring commitment contracts from youth and parents. In addition, we incorporate either one-on-one or group mentoring for all youth at the Center; and we have a full-time Case Manager to work with the highest risk youth. We operate out of our Bird Street site and two middle schools, the Clarence Edwards and Higginson-Lewis K-8.
Budget  --
Category  --
Population Served Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years) Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Bird Street’s greatest strength is that even in economically difficult times, we are retaining quality staff, increasing our services and programs, and tracking more and more graduating seniors attend two and four year colleges.  Alumni continue to come to work for us and serve on our Board.  Our reputation for academic success has led to a pending 2017 planning grant application, in partnership with Charlestown High School for Bird Street, to house an alternative, innovation High School for 50 students who are off track for success. 

Organizational challenges include retaining senior level staff when salaries have to be frozen given limited resources. Boston Public Schools, our biggest competition, offers higher salaries for less hours and greater benefits.  We also have to overcome the challenges that arise when youth get out of school much later in the day but we still need to provide to them the same number of services and supports so that they succeed academically.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Kevin V O'Rourke
CEO Term Start July 2013
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Kevin O’Rourke is the Executive Director of the Bird Street Community Center. Mr. O’Rourke joined Bird Street in 2013 following a lengthy executive search. Previously,  Prior to coming to the Center, Kevin was the President/CEO of the Brockton Area Private Industry Council, Inc., managing an annual budget of $4.9M.  During his tenure at the Brockton-PIC, Kevin successfully secured a grant in the amount of $18M that provided workforce development, youth development, job readiness and job placement to under-served populations. 

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
Centerpieces for National Conference Great City Schools 2011


Affiliation Year
United Way Member Agency 2013
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Bird Street collaborates with most every agency in our service area. Academic program partners include Suffolk University and Boston College, who host our weekly for Connections to College programs for middle and high school students.Bird Street is a long time active partner in our local jobs collaborative, GOTCHA (Getting off the Corner Hanging Around).  What started out in 2002 as a summer jobs-focused group.  We have matured into a year round jobs network that also recognizes the importance of other life skills that are required for successful growth and development of youth.  Each of the five partners has identified a “key strength” that is offered to the other partners.  For Bird Street, the strength is educational services; our program is open to all partners.  Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s strength is community organizing, The City School is social justice training and leadership, Bowdoin Street Health Center is physical/mental health and healthy lifestyle, and Dorchester Bay EDC’s strength is community organizing.  Together we plan major events and opportunities for youth.  We also see that youth learn new skills from working with all partners. GOTCHA, even with changes in leadership over the years, continues to be trusting and open, resulting in optimal services for the youth. We also partner with many agencies to place their youth including The Home for Little Wanderers, Good Will Industries, the High Risk Youth Network, The Youth Transitions Task Force of the Boston Private Industry Council, Department of Children and Families, Department of Youth Services, the Dorchester Court, Boston Public Schools, and others. 

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 12
Number of Part Time Staff 25
Number of Volunteers 130
Number of Contract Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 90%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 26
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 3
Hispanic/Latino: 6
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 8
Other (if specified): Cape Verdean/Haitian
Gender Female: 31
Male: 12
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually


Board Chair Mr. Edmund A Marcarelli
Board Chair Company Affiliation Hydrakos Consulting
Board Chair Term May 2012 - Apr 2017
Board Co-Chair Ms. Kristen Risley
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation Unemployed
Board Co-Chair Term May 2012 - Apr 2017

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Dara Concagh Social Worker Voting
David Crane Wells Fargo Bank Voting
Robert Demisch Humantics Voting
Dwayne A Hall Community Volunteer Voting
Adrien Luther PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Voting
Chris Malone QuickPivot Boston Voting
Chair Edmund A Marcarelli Hydrakos Consulting --
Vice-Chair Kristen Risley Community Volunteer Voting
Kemarah Sika Cambridge School of Weston Voting
Andrew Soares Boston University Voting
Matthew Swentkofske PLS Financial Services Boston Voting
Richard Wirth Esq Retired Voting
Richard Wirth Esq Retired Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 15
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 3
Male: 15
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 90%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 80%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Audit
  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Executive
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Nominating
  • Personnel
  • Program / Program Planning
  • Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,705,255 $1,585,471 $1,582,132
Total Expenses $1,635,684 $1,657,966 $1,766,758

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $996,107 $704,602 $242,989
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $996,107 $704,602 $242,989
Individual Contributions $387,759 $513,871 $480,749
Indirect Public Support -- $0 $0
Earned Revenue $316,172 $329,303 $754,347
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- $0 $1,047
Membership Dues -- $0 $0
Special Events -- $0 $0
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $5,217 $37,695 $103,000

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $1,249,001 $1,409,523 $1,401,606
Administration Expense $314,193 $186,009 $281,848
Fundraising Expense $72,490 $62,434 $83,304
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.04 0.96 0.90
Program Expense/Total Expenses 76% 85% 79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 5% 12%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $423,601 $381,708 $489,717
Current Assets $238,304 $169,466 $256,886
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $74,332 $102,011 $137,525
Total Net Assets $349,269 $279,697 $352,192

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy Income Only
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 3.21 1.66 1.87

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from Foundations & Corporations are listed under Individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

There are several outcomes that the Bird Street Community Center strives to achieve on a daily basis. First, since our youth are exposed to multiple risk factors, we want them to show successful responses to everyday challenges and use this learning to achieve academic and work success. We call this building resilience. Second, besides academic achievement, we want youth to demonstrate behavioral competencies (verbal, written, and taking action like helping others and walking away from negative situations) and self-determination. Third, we want youth to have a belief in having a future through career exploration and first-time employment opportunities.  Fourth, we want our older youth to grow and be role models for our younger youth, such as in communicating healthy standards for behavior and identifying and striving to meet personal goals.  The fifth impact pertains to the self-efficacy of parents and guardians, and bonding between youth and family as well as between parent /guardian and the Center itself.  We try to make an impact by improving youth's interpersonal skills, quality of peer and adult relationships, academic mastery (including proficiency in Math), job readiness, and youth employment.
In sum, the Center's programs help youth to be academically and vocationally prepared by attending school, making satisfactory academic progress; avoiding disciplinary action, completing middle school, graduating from high school, being college- and career-ready, and connect to jobs.  We help youth to be socially and have a civic connection by achieving meaningful connection to community, maintaining healthy relationships, and participating in extracurricular activities.  Finally, we help youth to be healthy, safe and experience physical, mental and emotional well-being; abstain from risky behaviors (violence, gangs, substance abuse,); achieve financial independence; and, in some cases, access stable housing.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?


3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?


4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?


5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?