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Maverick Landing Community Services Inc.

 31 Liverpool Street
 East Boston, MA 02128
[P] (617) 569-5240
[F] (617) 569-7601
Rita Lara
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 20-5911734

LAST UPDATED: 09/19/2018
Organization DBA Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS)
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No


Mission StatementMORE »


Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) helps children, youth, and adults build 21st-century skills - collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving - to reach economic, educational, and personal goals. MLCS is in the heart of a housing development where 77% of the families are poor and living in subsidized housing. We leverage this access by providing age-appropriate programming.


Mission Statement


Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) helps children, youth, and adults build 21st-century skills - collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving - to reach economic, educational, and personal goals. MLCS is in the heart of a housing development where 77% of the families are poor and living in subsidized housing. We leverage this access by providing age-appropriate programming.


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $260,234.00
Projected Expense $452,132.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Technology & Workforce Development Lab
  • Youth Programs

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

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


Mission Statement


Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) helps children, youth, and adults build 21st-century skills - collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving - to reach economic, educational, and personal goals. MLCS is in the heart of a housing development where 77% of the families are poor and living in subsidized housing. We leverage this access by providing age-appropriate programming.


Background Statement

Guided by a commitment to “Opening doors to Opportunities and Change,” MLCS has provided services to children, teens, and adults in East Boston since 2007. MLCS is steps from Maverick Square, one of Eastie’s most densely populated and poorest neighborhoods. The Youth Empowerment & Performance (YEP) program has been in existence since 2009 and is our gold standard award-winning program. For over 10 years, the Computer Lab has served the 1400 residents of Maverick Landing with homework help, job search, and computer skills training. Our Resident Services links residents to essential basic services. A core aspect of our impact is a strong family service model that integrates case management and family support with the youth programs. Our Family Services Director has been with us since our inception, with over 12 years in the community.

In the spring of 2016, MLCS completed a strategic planning process that led to a new mission focused on helping people advance economic and educational goals. By building 21st century skills- collaboration, teamwork, creativity, imagination, critical thinking, and problem solving, we help people achieve economic, educational, and personal goals. 

Two approaches that are essential to how we ground this work in community are: a Family Systems based approach and Building Social Capital. We are an on-site neighborhood-based organization with integrated socio-emotionally responsive family support. A Director of Family Services is the lead point person for reaching out to parents and caregivers of the youth in our programs. Families live steps from our offices and often come in to meet with the Director of Family Services for individual support with system advocacy, household management, or personal issues. There is a long-held deep trust between families and MLCS through our resident services. Second, it is important to us to ensure that the Maverick Landing community doesn’t become insulated in poverty in a community surrounded by high-end condos. We build capacity using local talent, emphasizing service, building social capital, and breaking through the economic stratifications that can separate neighbors. MLCS has successfully tapped the local volunteer pool to build community and leverage talent. We now have added capacity to continue seeking specialized volunteers who are able to give of their time to teach children and youth new skills, making sure we build bridges between the old East Boston and the new.

Impact Statement

MLCS organizational accomplishments in 2017:
1. Utilizing existing best practices for multi-service organizations (MSOs), MLCS has aligned all of its programs to its new mission.
2. We restructured our workforce development programs and rebranded our computer lab into a tech and workforce lab. 
3. We launched Maverick Makers, a new makerspace and STEM program for kids ages 7 to 11, and hired a fantastic coordinator for the makerspace.
4. We have developed our board, adding four new members. 
5. We have identified and created new metrics and a full dashboard for gauging organizational health. 
Organizational goals for the coming year:

1. Strengthen and expand STEM-based programming for children and youth in the MLCS makerspace to double the current capacity (Dec 2018 - Dec 2019)

2. Increase organizational operational and administrative capacity and volunteer/donor cultivation capacity (Dec 2018 - Dec 2019)

3. Increase volunteer engagement and prospective MLCS donor base (Dec 2018 - Dec 2019).

4. Increase organizational capacity to open up an earned revenue stream through product development.

5. Increase organizational capacity to collect and analyze program and development data.


Needs Statement

MLCS top most pressing needs include the following:
1. Volunteers to help with admin support as we continue to build infrastructure as well as volunteers to support our kids and youth programming.
2. As we continue to strengthen and build programming, having adequate development and fundraising and back office support will be critical.  
3. Support from a board development consultant to help our board grow from a 7-member stakeholder board to a 14-member fundraising board.
4. MLCS is in need a financial consultant to help us continue to develop financial metrics and a dashboard that will help us to move from a reserve-dependent model to a fully self-sustainable organization.
5. Continued growth in visibility and presence in the local neighborhood in which we operate. 

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement

MLCS is the service organization that was born of the redevelopment of Maverick Landing through a HUD HOPE VI grant. One of the major challenges with projects that are funded through HOPE VI is long-term sustainability. 
As with most HUD redevelopment projects such as this one, if the project is not affected by cost overruns in the redevelopment phase, there is often more funding for programs and services. This was the case with the redevelopment of Maverick Landing. In 2007, a generous reserve was created that would permit MLCS the funds to operate through the end of the project's tax credits.  
Since I have joined the board, I have seen the organization grow its programs comfortably with a sound reserve. In 2015 our former executive director retired and we hired a new executive director and completed the organization's first three-year strategic plan.
MLCS has entered a new age. Our reserves will take us through the next three years. We will need to keep one year of operations in reserve and work to create sustainability over the next two.  
The last two years have brought resource-smart innovation and new programs that are positioning MLCS for continued impact in Maverick Landing and East Boston. 
I alongside, my fellow board members, are excited about the new programs and services now available to the community and look forward to the continued implementation of a new vision for the organization. 

Geographic Area Served

City of Boston- East Boston


Our community at Maverick Landing is incredibly diverse; approximately 65% are Latino with recent immigrant parents, 25% North African, 8% African American, and 2% white. 90% live in poverty. The majority of children and youth we serve reside in single parent households because a parent is in jail or remained in a family’s country of origin; face issues of acculturation or assimilation as immigrants or children of immigrants with parents challenged by language barriers; and come from families struggling with undiagnosed and untreated depression or anxiety due to trauma. MLCS Maverick Makers serve over 40 children ages 7-12. The majority of these youth (75%) live in area subsidized housing, and attend Boston Public Schools in East Boston.

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Children's and Youth Services
  2. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  3. Human Services - Family Services

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

Under Development


Technology & Workforce Development Lab

Information collected from our strategic planning process in Spring 2016 led us to identify immediate community needs. In response, we launched or amended the following programs to align with our new mission: 

- English Innovations: In the fall of 2017, we further enhanced skill-building offerings for over 25 immigrant families through this tech-infused English language learners program first offered at MLCS in 2016 as part of a pilot led by English for New Bostonians. English language adult learners can now learn English while increasing their digital skills.

- Technology Goes Home: a well-regarded model that makes tech and online access affordable for 20 low- income families every cycle, to help participants bridge the digital divide.

- EastieCoders: a front-end development program that makes learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript accessible particularly for teens and young adults new to the tech field.

- East Boston Tech Group: a meetup for tech professionals with connections to East Boston was created to support career development.

Budget  --
Category  Employment, General/Other Job Search & Placement
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 

The Tech and Workforce Lab has been able to achieve the following results last year:

  • Provide job searches for 92 individuals and job placement to 63 individuals;

  • Serve 279 individuals in the computer lab

  • Place five young adult at-risk participants into employment at an average of 22 hrs per week, earning an average salary of 26.25 per hour.

Program Long-Term Success  We open doors to opportunities by helping people to build 21st century skills--collaboration, problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, digital and code literacy--in a supportive community setting.
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success 

George Mosallam has a 30+ year work history as civil engineer in Syria. He had to leave his native country with his family due to the war. He brings incredible experience that can be put to work here in the U.S. and he is eager to use his talent.George completed English Innovations with Antonio Lobo and recently graduated from our Mayor's Office of Workforce Development (OWD) funded Tech, Work and Life Skills program where Gene Babon, our tech lab instructor helped him to develop his resume and a digital portfolio.George is currently looking for employment or an internship with an engineering firm or a construction company -- anywhere he can put his building and problem-solving skills to work.

Gladys emigrated from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico at a young age. She had never used a computer prior to participating in the Technology Goes Home program at Maverick Landing, and believed that it was something that she was incapable of learning at her age. However, when she saw an ad for Technology Goes Home, she thought “Maybe I can do this.” The program teaches residents the basics of computer use, with the option of purchasing an affordable PC upon completion. She surprised herself by how quickly she acquired the skills necessary to not only operate a computer, but become quite internet savvy. Before long, she was looking up pictures of her old home, which she had not seen in many years. Through her enthusiasm and dedication to learning, she continued to develop new skills. Gladys went on to attend ESL classes, where she is an outstanding student, always punctual and eager to learn. Today, she maintains a Facebook account, and uses online mapping to get to where she needs to go. Just a short time ago, she felt limited by today’s world of ever-increasing technology, but with her newfound skillset, she is now confident that she can do anything.

When Matt enrolled in the Resilient Coders boot camp, he arrived with a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement but faced many obstacles. As a kid growing up in Eastie, he loved tinkering with computers and was driven by a curiosity to learn. Like many people who struggle to achieve their dreams, Matt had encountered some setbacks. As a young adult, he entered the workforce straight from high school. For nearly 8 years he worked at Market Basket stocking shelves. He loved his employer and felt well treated. He was also reliable on the job but when his car broke down, getting to working became difficult. He lost his job. One thing led to another and he found himself out of employment for a few years and later homeless. At the hackathon, it was clear that Matt had an aptitude for coding as well as a genuine interest. Matt enrolled in the Resilient Coders boot camp in the summer of 2016 and received support and case management services from MLCS. Finishing the boot camp was a challenge. He almost didn't make it. MLCS worked closely with him to help him overcome his obstacles. After his training, Resilient Coders identified a work opportunity and MLCS helped him prepare and succeed at the interview with a big data company. He was hired, and in January was offered a full time benefitted position. Matt credits his love for his son as his main motivating force. With the help of the programs and services provided by Maverick Landing, his hard work and dedication have set him on a career path that seemed unattainable just a short time ago.

Youth Programs

Information collected from our strategic planning process in Spring 2016 led us to identify immediate community needs. In response, we launched or amended the following programs to align with our new mission:

- MLCS Makerspace: launched in the summer of 2017 to serve over 40 kids ages 7-12 out of a community need that also serves our new core mission. In the fall, we expanded our program space to incorporate a new makerspace, offering homework help and STEAM-based activities (robotics, coding, wearable tech projects, building/arts & crafts). It is the only structured out-of-school-time educational program in East Boston open Monday- Thursday until 8pm.

- Youth Empowerment & Performance (YEP): a skills-based program for 25 teens ages 13-17 that includes goal-centered coaching, digital content development, and tech skills development.

- Gentlemen’s Empowerment Program (GEM): a skills-based prevention program for 30 boys ages 13-17 that provides individual and group mentorship, combined with family systems support to mitigate risky behavior. We seek to deter young men from joining starter gangs that often take root in housing developments like Maverick Landing.

Budget  --
Category  Education, General/Other Afterschool Enrichment
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years) At-Risk Populations Immigrant, Newcomers, Refugees
Program Short-Term Success 

The Youth Programs have been able to achieve the following results last year:

  • Youth programs grew to serve 47 teenagers (this represents a 68% increase from 2016).
  • YEP hosted three community presentations and collaborated on two community youth arts events.
  • 90% of youth obtained summer jobs assisted by or directly hired by the MLCS Summer Youth Employment program.
  • In a focus group conducted during the summer of 2017 youth indicated:
    • increased awareness of their strengths as well as areas for further self development.
    • Improved relationships and connections with other children & youth in the community as a result of participating in community activities.
    • Stronger awareness and focus on educational and life goals.
Program Long-Term Success 

Our intended impact is to help youth to achieve educational, employment, and personal goals, which includes:

  • At least 60 children and youth will be engaged in an MLCS program with at least an 85% graduation rate.
  • 100% of participating youth will identify educational GAS goals
  • 100% enrolled youth receive a total of 21,120 to 26,040 hours of skill-building activities.
  • 100% of youth in need receive in-house case management from the MLCS Director of Family Services
  • At least 80% of parents will be engaged in at least 1 of 3 annual program family event
Program Success Monitored By  MLCS uses periodic assessments for individual youth to determine progress made toward educational and economic goals. We employ the goal attainment scale (GAS) framework and have developed an educational and economic scale. The list of goals come from intake forms, as well as external research of key determinants of educational growth and poverty alleviation. Under each goal is a set of objective criteria to monitor progress toward that goal (school attendance, grade improvement, post-secondary preparation, guardian(s) involvement, etc). To measure and track progress toward the goal of connecting youth to resources and services, MLCS staff record baseline goals in 2018 and obtain a mid-year and end-of-year follow up on progress made.
Examples of Program Success 

7-year old Ayoub arrived at the first day of the Summertime Maker’s program percolating with excitement. On day one, he drew a robot on a piece of construction paper and shared it with the other kids around him. “Guess what? I can make this robot move. You watch!" He gently pressed the pencil’s eraser against the drawing and shuffled the piece of construction paper back and forth on the table. The other kids chuckled but Ayoub was earnest, and his eyes shined with excitement. And just a week later he really is making robots move. Ayoub is enjoying learning how to program his robot. A new world is opening up for him.

Angie moved to Maverick Landing about a year ago. When she arrived last summer, she joined our summer work program and enjoyed working as a research assistant on a health survey project funded by the Attorney General's Office. When school began, she joined the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) and enjoyed getting to know other youth in the neighborhood. She used her time at MLCS to hone a strong skill set. This year, Angie is playing a lead role as a youth staff in our Summertime Maker's program, handling much of the coordination and attendance tracking. She has done such an incredible job that MLCS will be hiring her in the fall to provide administrative support to the organization.

Kevin is a 17 year old boy who works at MLCS in East Boston. Kevin was born and raised in East Boston, and is currently attending East Boston High going into his junior year. His family is from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and he loves to embrace his hispanic roots. Although Kevin works a lot he still makes time for his passion, lacrosse. He has been playing lacrosse for ten years, and has been captain on the team for six years. His passion for lacrosse has even given the opportunity to travel around the country! He has traveled with the team to Nationals in Philadelphia three times, and also to Denver for the 2014 world games. Although Kevin has moved out of Maverick Landing, he still feels extremely connected to the community. He works at MLCS during the summer and loves to visit during the school year. He admires the work they do and wants to continue to come and give back to the community.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Rita Lara
CEO Term Start Sept 2015
CEO Email
CEO Experience

Rita has over 20 years of local and global nonprofit sector experience. Prior to coming to MLCS she served as Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for Corporate Accountability International, an advocacy organization that safeguards human rights and the environment. Her local work includes leading a field-based evaluation of services at a HOPE VI housing development with researchers at the Boston University School of Social Work and working with a number of organizations in Boston serving Latinx communities including La Alianza Hispana where she wrote and won a 2.5M grant from the Office of Adolescent Health and Sociedad Latina, where she netted the organization’s first Robert Wood Johnson grant. A product of public housing and a first generation American and college graduate, she hails from Lawrence, Massachusetts, is the first woman in her family to receive four-year and post graduate degrees, and is a fully bilingual native Spanish speaker. Rita has an Ed.M. in Human Development & Psychology with a concentration in Risk and Prevention from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Tufts University.

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
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 7
Number of Volunteers 2
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 4
Hispanic/Latino: 6
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
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 Ms. Deirdre Wyman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Director of Housing at Trinity Financial Services
Board Chair Term Apr 2013 - Dec 2017
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Al Caldarelli Executive Director of East Boston CDC Voting
Mary Collins Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Boston University School of Social Work Voting
Rachel Goodman Boston Housing Authority Voting
Karima Lachmi Maverick Landing Resident --
Geoffrey Lee Trinity Financial Voting
Robert Schmidt E.B. Resident Voting
John Shoenberger SilverRail Technologies --
Andrew Speen Harvard Business School --
Tommy Welch Assistant Superintendent of Boston Public Schools Voting
Deidre Wyman Director of Housing at Trinity Financial Services 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: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 2
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 1
Other (if specified): North African
Gender Female: 4
Male: 6
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 71%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 75%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 75%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Finance

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2018
Projected Income $260,234.00
Projected Expense $452,132.00
Form 990s

2017 990

2016 990

2015 990

Audit Documents

2017 Reviewed Financial Statement

2016 Reviewed Financial Statement

2015 Reviewed Financial Statement

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Revenue $419,241 $429,759 $434,283
Total Expenses $428,288 $479,120 $548,058

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $201,055 $179,935 $155,485
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $195,301 $195,306 $195,300
Investment Income, Net of Losses $22,885 $54,518 $83,498
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Program Expense $254,959 $349,980 $470,394
Administration Expense $127,985 $81,554 $77,664
Fundraising Expense $45,344 $47,586 --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.98 0.90 0.79
Program Expense/Total Expenses 60% 73% 86%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 23% 26% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Total Assets $695,409 $858,943 $1,113,014
Current Assets $267,777 $340,482 $279,461
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $26,280 $222,173 $411,830
Total Net Assets $669,129 $636,770 $701,184

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
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? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 10.19 1.53 0.68

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2017 2016 2015
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and 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?


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?