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Friends of the Children - Boston, Inc.

 555 Amory Street
 Boston, MA 02130
[P] (617) 983-3682
[F] (617) 983-3683
www.friendsboston.org
[email protected]
Cory Berry-Whitlock
Facebook Twitter
INCORPORATED: 2004
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 20-1581289

LAST UPDATED: 09/02/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Friends of the Children-Boston (Friends-Boston) creates generational change by engaging children from high-risk communities in 12 years of transformative mentoring relationships.
 

We call the children we serve Achievers to demonstrate our belief in their potential for success; our long-term goal is that Achievers will graduate from high school and succeed in college. We select children from high-risk Boston communities in kindergarten and provide them with 16 hours a month of comprehensive mentoring and advocacy services every year for 12 years, from  first grade through high school graduation. 

Mission Statement

Friends of the Children-Boston (Friends-Boston) creates generational change by engaging children from high-risk communities in 12 years of transformative mentoring relationships.
 

We call the children we serve Achievers to demonstrate our belief in their potential for success; our long-term goal is that Achievers will graduate from high school and succeed in college. We select children from high-risk Boston communities in kindergarten and provide them with 16 hours a month of comprehensive mentoring and advocacy services every year for 12 years, from  first grade through high school graduation. 


FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Sept 01, 2016 to Aug 31, 2017
Projected Income $1,163,250.00
Projected Expense $1,144,697.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • 1. School Success
  • 2. Social & Emotional Development
  • 3. Improved Health
  • 4. Making Good Choices
  • 5. Plans and Skills for the Future

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

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


Overview

Mission Statement

Friends of the Children-Boston (Friends-Boston) creates generational change by engaging children from high-risk communities in 12 years of transformative mentoring relationships.
 

We call the children we serve Achievers to demonstrate our belief in their potential for success; our long-term goal is that Achievers will graduate from high school and succeed in college. We select children from high-risk Boston communities in kindergarten and provide them with 16 hours a month of comprehensive mentoring and advocacy services every year for 12 years, from  first grade through high school graduation. 


Background Statement

Friends of the Children was originally founded in Portland, Oregon in 1993. Based on the success of the Portland Program, Friends-Boston was founded in 2004 as the first organization established by the GreenLight Fund. The GreenLight Fund is a venture philanthropy firm that identifies innovative nonprofits from around the nation and provides seed funding to bring them to Boston.

In December of 2004 we welcomed our first class of 16 Achievers. Each year since, we have on-board 8-12 Achievers based on funding and organizational capacity, although through the selection process with Boston Public Schools (BPS) we identify more than triple that at our BPS designated selection school, the Higginson School in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state. Today, Friends-Boston serves 126 of Boston’s highest-risk children and youth in over 60 schools throughout Boston.

In 2012, we reached a program milestone, as our first class of Achievers entered 9th grade. In the Spring of 2016 we reached another organizational milestone as our first Achievers graduated from high school. All of our graduating seniors were accepted and went to college. To meet the needs of our high school students, Friends-Boston created and implemented new adolescent programming. We created a Teen Center, implemented the Achiever Education and Career Aspirations program, and expanded adolescent programming hours 5 days a week with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays.


Impact Statement

Friends-Boston’s goals for our Achievers can be simply stated, but are long-term:

  • Goal 1: Succeed in school with a minimum H.S. diploma (preferred) or GED; although 41% of our youth have parents who did not.
  • Goal 2: Avoid the juvenile justice system; although 48% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  • Goal 3: Avoid early parenting; although 25% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Each year, Friends-Boston tracks short-terms outcomes which have been proven to lead to achieving our long-term Goals resulting academic and life success. We are seeking the following outcomes for the upcoming school year:
 
  • 95% of Achievers will progress on time to the next grade;
  • 75% of Achievers will attend school regularly (12 absences or less);
  • 85% of youth demonstrate annual progress in 7 out of 9 core assets.
  • 90% of youth demonstrate quarterly progress in individual social and emotional development Road Map goals; and
  • 90% of our high school Achievers will be employed over the summer, with 95% job retention
Analysis of last year's performance shows that Achievers made significant progress in the 2014-2015 school year:
 
  • 99% of Achievers progressed to the next grade.
  • 80% of Achievers demonstrated improved classroom behavior as noted by teachers.
  • 81% attended school regularly with at least 90% attendance for the year.
  • 94% of Achievers made progress toward or met their social and emotional skill goals as defined in their individual Road Map for success.
  • 100% of our teen Achievers received targeted career and workforce development training, with all but 3 teens employed over the summer.
  • 100% of our graduating seniors were accepted and are attending college in the fall!

Needs Statement

Financial contributions: Friends-Boston is a privately funded organization, and contributions fund key program needs for Achievers.

Donated gift cards: Gift cards to stores such as Target and Stop & Shop provide necessities for the families we serve.

Board Members: Friends-Boston is seeking to expand our diverse Board of Directors by adding 2-3 new Members this year.
 
Corporate volunteers: We are looking for companies and volunteers who are able to provide Achievers with access to professional environments and facilitate learning experiences for children.
 
In-kind donations: During specific times of year Friends-Boston solicits donations of food, toys, and coats to support our Achievers.

CEO Statement

Statement from Yi-Chin Chen, Executive Director:

The mission of Friends of the Children-Boston is clear—to create generational change by engaging children who face the highest risks in 12.5 years of transformative mentoring relationships. Every day, I see our mission come alive. Just yesterday, an Achiever visited me in my office, and through our conversation, I learned that his grades had improved significantly this year. I asked if his mother was happy about how well he was doing, and he told me that she threw the report card away because she didn’t care. Before I could respond, he told me that it was OK because his Friend was proud of him and they were going to do all sorts of fun things to celebrate the hard work they put in together. As I watched him leave, the power of our work was reaffirmed for me—being there for the most vulnerable youth to celebrate their success, to help them learn from failure, and to simply be there when no one else is. I am inspired by his resilience, and I am honored to have the privilege to be a part of his journey.
 

This is a pivotal moment in our organizational history. More than a decade ago, the inaugural class of children started their journeys with us. Now 12 years later, we are celebrating the first class of high school graduates, and we have a lot to be proud of. To date, we serve 128 Achievers, and the results are phenomenal. Not only have all of our graduating seniors been accepted to college, but we have had zero school drop-outs. Given that almost half of our Achievers’ parents did not graduate from high school, we can proudly say that we are seeing the generational change we set out to create in our mission.

I started my career working with at-risk youth more than 15 years ago because I was once one of these youth. My life was changed when a caring adult believed in me and stood by me until I succeeded. That is what we do at Friends of the Children-Boston every single day. Most organizations provide a breadth of services for multiple children at once. We focus on a depth of services for one child at a time. I am committed to deepening and expanding our work so we can help change the stories of the most vulnerable children in our city. We have ambitious plans moving forward, and I’d love the opportunity to discuss it with you if you’d like to learn more. I also invite you to follow our progress, and I hope you will continue to lend your support.  


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

Greater Boston Region-All Neighborhoods
City of Boston- Citywide (please select all areas as well)
City of Boston- Allston/ Brighton
City of Boston- Charlestown
City of Boston- North Dorchester
City of Boston- South Dorchester
City of Boston- Hyde Park
City of Boston- Jamaica Plain
City of Boston- Mattapan
City of Boston- Roslindale
City of Boston- Roxbury
City of Boston- South Boston
City of Boston- West Roxbury

Friends-Boston currently selects children from the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan, but commits to providing comprehensive mentoring to the students we serve wherever they move in the greater Boston area.

Organization Categories

  1. Youth Development - Youth Development Programs
  2. Education - Educational Services
  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)

Yes

Programs

1. School Success

Goals:

    • Regular school attendance
    • Positive school behavior
    • Successful course performance
Activities:
Friends-Boston’s professional mentors regularly meets with teachers, school administrators, and parents, to mediate, overcome language barriers, and work on IEPs. We work to make sure that our Achievers attend and participate in school, complete homework here or at home, have access to computers/internet, have satisfactory academic performance, participate in elective academic opportunities, and avoid disciplinary actions.
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  •  95% of Achievers will progress on time to the next grade;
  • 85% of Achievers will attend school regularly (at least 90% attendance);
  • 80% of Achievers will demonstrate improved classroom behavior;
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 60% of our youth have parents who did not
  • Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 50% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  •  Avoid Early Parenting; Although 85% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Program Success Monitored By 

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the Milestone Core Areas (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.

Examples of Program Success  .

2. Social & Emotional Development

Goals:

    • Identifies relationships with peers and adults who provide social support and connections to resources
Activities:

Friends-Boston has identified nine core assets including Growth Mindset, Positive Relationship Building, Find your Spark, Problem-Solving, Self-Determination, Self-Management, Perseverance/Grit, Hope, and Belonging. Both our one-on-one and group activities are focused on helping our Achievers in these areas. Friends are trained to engage youth in structured social and emotional learning (SEL). We teach our Achievers to identify and positively relate to chosen peers and adults, as well as to identify and engage with formal and informal resources for a variety of social and personal development purposes (e.g., counseling, youth services program, trusted coach, etc.).

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  • 80% of Achievers will demonstrate improved classroom behavior;
  •  90% of Achievers will make progress toward or meet their social/emotional skill goals as detailed in their Road Map for Success;
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 60% of our youth have parents who did not
  • Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 50% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  •  Avoid Early Parenting; Although 85% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Program Success Monitored By 

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the Milestone Core Areas (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.

Examples of Program Success  .

3. Improved Health

Goals:

    • Healthy nutrition
    • Regular physical activity
    • Understand and use preventive physical and mental health resources
Activities:

Friends work with Achievers on improving their health through modelling, activities, and discussions. Activities can include exercising, eating meals together, and healthy snacks, either in one-on-one or in a group. We integrate self-esteem and body-image activities for all of our Achievers, but that programming especially important for our tween and teens. We work with both Achievers and families to connect them to community resources to prevent and overcome negative mental and physical situations.

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  • 90% of Achievers will make progress toward or meet their goals as detailed in their Road Map for Success;
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 60% of our youth have parents who did not
  • Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 50% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  • Avoid Early Parenting; Although 85% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Program Success Monitored By 

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the Milestone Core Areas (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.

Examples of Program Success  .

4. Making Good Choices

Goals:

    • Engages in positive extra-curricular activities
    • Engages in non-aggressive behavior
    • Makes self-guided decisions to avoid risky behavior
Activities:
Our long-term goals are for our Achievers to avoid early pregnancy, graduate from high school, and avoid the juvenile justice system. To truly accomplish that goal, we need to demonstrate and teach making good choices in a variety of settings and situations. We work with our Achievers both one-on-one and in groups, here at the facility, in school, and in the community in order to lay the groundwork for good decisions. We work to get them to reflect on risky situations, positively manage enticements to delinquent behavior, join healthy extracurricular activities, volunteer, and refrain from aggressive behavior, risky sexual behavior, and abuse of drugs or alcohol.
Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  • 85% of Achievers will attend school regularly (at least 90% attendance);
  • 80% of Achievers will demonstrate improved classroom behavior;
  • 90% of Achievers will make progress toward or meet their social/emotional skill goals as detailed in their Road Map for Success; and
  •  90% of our high school Achievers will be employed over the summer.
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 60% of our youth have parents who did not
  • Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 50% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  • Avoid Early Parenting; Although 85% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Program Success Monitored By 

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the Milestone Core Areas (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.

Examples of Program Success  .

5. Plans and Skills for the Future

Goals:

    • Attain skills for safety and independence
    • Youth can set short and long term goals and monitor progress towards them
Activities:

We work with our Achievers to identify short and long term goals across life domains. Our one-on-one and group activities help provide the motivation and skills to independently plan and organize school, home, and community activities. We teach and demonstrate safe behavior in navigating typical situations in the community. Our Achiever Education and Career Aspirations program helps instill professional soft skills, provides access to internships and jobs, and offers critical support in navigating the necessary steps to procure jobs.

Budget  --
Category  Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success 
  •  95% of Achievers will progress on time to the next grade;
  • 80% of Achievers will demonstrate improved classroom behavior;
  •  90% of Achievers will make progress toward or meet their social/emotional skill goals as detailed in their Road Map for Success; and
  •  90% of our high school Achievers will be employed over the summer.
Program Long-Term Success 
  • Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 60% of our youth have parents who did not
  •  Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 50% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated
  • Avoid Early Parenting; Although 85% of our youth were born to a teen parent
Program Success Monitored By 

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the Milestone Core Areas (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.

We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.

Examples of Program Success  .

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Yi-Chin Chen
CEO Term Start Jan 2016
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience

Yi-Chin Chen previously served as the Interim Executive Director of Hyde Square Task Force (HSTF), an organization that builds the skills of inner-city youth through innovative arts and culture, leadership, lifelong learning, economic development, and community organizing initiatives.

 

Prior to being named Interim Executive Director, Yi-Chin served in a variety of positions within HSTF, including the Deputy Director and the Director of Lifelong Learning and Economic Development. With more than fifteen years professional experience in organizational management and designing social-service programs in both community-based and school-based settings, she is responsible for the creation of several nationally recognized programs, including the HSTF’s Paths to College & Careers Program (PCCP) and the Health Careers Ambassadors Program (HCAP).

 

Yi-Chin received a master’s degree in Social Work from Boston University with a specialization in macro practice, focusing on program planning and implementation and community organizing. She is also a graduate of the Institute of Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She has served on several city and statewide committees, advisory boards, and initiatives on higher education, youth development, and community health, including the Hyde/Jackson Square Main Streets Board of Directors, Boston’s Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board, Boston University School of Social Work Alumni Board Steering Committee. In 2011, she received the prestigious Hubie Jones Urban Service Award from BUSSW for her outstanding leadership empowering youth and families in low-income communities.

 

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
Ms. Stacy Dell'Orfano MPA Director of Development

Stacy joined the team at Friends of the Children-Boston in September 2014 and serves as a strategic ally to the Executive Director while providing leadership to Friends-Boston as the organization prepares for growth. Stacy works on developing diverse revenue strategies, implementing an ambitious fundraising plan, providing leadership to inspire an increase of philanthropic support, and managing key donor relationships to sustain Friends-Boston plans for programmatic growth and sustainability over the next 3 years.

 

Both a development professional and an organizational specialist, Stacy brings with her over 16 years experience in nonprofit management and strategic fund development. Prior to Friends of the Children-Boston, Stacy served as Deputy Director of MathPOWER, Director of Development for Peace First, a national nonprofit headquartered in Boston, as Assistant Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the YMCA of Greater Boston, Senior Development Officer at Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Director of the Foster Grandparent Program in Lawrence, MA, a program she brought to Lawrence in 1999.

 
Stacy serves on the Board of Directors of MathPOWER and previously served on the Board of Directors of Families First. Recognizing the importance of giving back, Stacy is a member of The Philanthropy Connection – a women’s collective giving group. Stacy holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Suffolk University and a Bachelors degree from Merrimack College. She decided to dedicate her career to public service after serving on two Alternative Spring Breaks in College and began her service to the nonprofit community as an AmeriCorps VISTA.
Mr. Zack Osheroff LCSW Assistant Director for Program Evaluation

Zack is a dedicated advocate and activist for children and families, committed to strengths-based social work and community empowerment. Zack has a dual B.A. in Psychology and Philosophy from Brandeis University and a Masters in Social Work from Simmons College, where he served his field placement with FOTC-Boston. He is published in Social Justice in Clinical Practice: A Liberation Health Framework for Social Work.

Ms. Marie Smith MSW Program Director

Marie Smith has been working with youth and families in the Boston area for nearly 15 years. She began her work at Dare Family Services working with high needs youth in the foster care. Prior to joining Friends-Boston, Marie worked with Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention at the Irving Middle School where she worked with students in the Learning Adaptive Behavior program.

 
Marie is a social worker experienced in achieving results with disenfranchised populations. She is most passionate about community building and providing quality service to youth and families. With other senior staff, she lead and execute vision and strategy for all aspects of Friends-Boston programming, integrate best practices in research from the fields of mentoring, social work and education to make Friends-Boston a leader in the field, and provides full oversight of Friends-Boston programming. She has previously worked at the Alliance for Inclusion and Prevention at the Washington Irving Middle School, Casey Family Services, and New Mission High School. She received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Bennett College and her Master of Clinical Social Work with certification in Urban Leadership from Simmons College.

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
Heroes Among Us Boston Celtics 2016
Light of Dawnn Award Massachusetts Nonprofit Network 2015

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 2004
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 15
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 6
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 7
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 8
Male: 7
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
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 Semi-Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Mr. John Simon and Mr. John Sullivan
Board Chair Company Affiliation Sigma Prime Ventures and Atlantic Salmon Federation
Board Chair Term Jan 2004 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Dana Crawford Domo Tactical Communications Voting
Mr. Juma K. Crawford Grand Circle Foundation-Boston --
Mr. Robert E. Hallagan Korn Ferry Voting
Mr. George McClelland Independent Director Voting
Mr. Gary Mikula Birch Hill Investment Advisors, LLC. Voting
Mr. David Milne SV Life Partners Voting
Ms. Prapti Mittal Game Show Network, Digital --
Mr. Dave Shapiro Mass Mentoring Partnership Voting
Mr. John Simon Sigma Prime Ventures Voting
Mr. Robert J. Small Berkshire Partners Voting
Mr. John Sullivan Atlantic Salmon Federation 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: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 1
Male: 10
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 80%
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

    --

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

--

Foundation Comments

--

Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Revenue $915,538 $1,162,443 $995,888
Total Expenses $972,324 $1,013,875 $1,021,412

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- $300,000
Government Contributions $2,000 $2,000 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified $2,000 $2,000 --
Individual Contributions $639,673 $882,142 $413,533
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $162 $-2,425 $79
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $273,703 $280,726 $282,276
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Program Expense $711,425 $750,588 $773,036
Administration Expense $62,835 $86,244 $85,513
Fundraising Expense $198,064 $177,043 $162,863
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.94 1.15 0.98
Program Expense/Total Expenses 73% 74% 76%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 22% 15% 16%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Total Assets $148,594 $214,812 $53,520
Current Assets $146,594 $213,650 $50,431
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $21,874 $31,306 $18,582
Total Net Assets $126,720 $183,506 $34,938

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
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Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
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 2014 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 6.70 6.82 2.71

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2014 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Further revenue breakout detail, in relation to Foundation & Corporation funding, was obtained from the 990 Schedule B documents for fiscal year 2012. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.

Documents


Impact

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?

Friends of the Children is an early intervention program that puts children at the highest risk of academic failure, teen pregnancy, and juvenile justice involvement on the path to productive adulthood. We accomplish this by pairing them with a paid professional mentor in an intensive, consistent, sustained, caring relationship for 12 plus years – 1st grade through high school graduation. We are intentional and relentless in our efforts enabling us to help Boston’s highest-risk youth succeed in school and avoid criminal behavior.

We will be successful in our Model by achieving the following intermediate outcomes and long-term outcomes for our Achievers.

Intermediate Outcomes

 School Success
    • Regular school attendance
    • Positive school behavior
    • Successful course performance

Social & Emotional Development

    • Identifies relationships with peers and adults who provide social support and connections to resources

Improved Health

    • Healthy nutrition
    • Regular physical activity
    • Understand and use preventive physical and mental health resources

Making Good Choices

    • Engages in positive extra-curricular activities
    • Engages in non-aggressive behavior
    • Makes self-guided decisions to avoid risky behavior

Plans and Skills for the Future

    • Attain skills for safety and independence
    • Youth can set short and long term goals and monitor progress towards them
Long-term Outcomes

      1. Success in School with a Minimum H.S. Diploma (preferred) or GED; Although 41% of our youth have parents who did not.

      2. Avoid the Juvenile Justice System; Although 48% of our youth have parents who were incarcerated.

      3. Avoid Early Parenting; Although 25% of our youth were born to a teen parent.

Young people who lack a strong relationship with a caring adult while growing up are much more vulnerable to a host of difficulties, ranging from academic failure to involvement in serious risk behaviors. Research finds that resilient youth—those who successfully transition from risk-filled backgrounds to the adult world of work and good citizenship—are consistently distinguished by the presence of a caring adult in their lives. Research has also shown that youth experiencing risk factors of violence who are involved with at least one caring adult are more likely to withstand the range of negative influences…than are peers who are not involved in a similar relationship (Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, 2000).
 

Volunteer mentoring programs have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing risk behaviors and improving school performance of at-risk youth. Unfortunately, research suggests that volunteer mentors are not effective with youth at the very highest risk of delinquency, substance abuse, school dropout, and other behavioral problems. Despite evidence that children facing the most challenging circumstances are in need of intensive, continuous support to change their life trajectories, funds are mostly allocated to programs that take a broad, low-intensity approach. There is tremendous need to ensure that the children most likely to land in child welfare and juvenile justice systems receive long‐term, sustained support services.

Comparatively, traditional mentoring programs create matches with volunteer mentors that meet for approximately 12 hours a month for 9 to 18 months. Friends-Boston’s 12 year, long-term, individualized, and in-depth program presents an innovative approach to helping children from high-risk communities attain an education and reach their full potential.
 
Research has shown that the single most important factor for building resiliency in children who face the highest risks is a caring and consistent relationship with an adult. To that end, we’ve developed a unique and revolutionary model that ensures quality, consistency and commitment so that we can make transformational change that breaks the cycle of generational poverty.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Friends of the Children-Boston’s model to break the cycle of generational poverty consists of six critical components: 

1. We select the children facing the highest risks. Our children are statistically at serious risk of continuing the cycle of poverty in their own lives.
 
2. We employ and train salaried, professional mentors called Friends. Moving mentorship out of the volunteer realm is a key component to getting the quality, consistency and commitment that our children need.
 
3. We commit for the long term. We commit to every child for the long term, from kindergarten through graduation. 12.5 years. No matter what.
 
4. We focus on the complete transformation of each child. Each child gets a dedicated, one-on-one Friend who spends a minimum of 16 intentional hours per month with them. We develop a road map for each child and design activities to build life skills. We create meaningful experiences to explore each child’s unique talents and interests.
 
5. We work in and with the child's community. Friends spend time in each child’s home, school, neighborhood, and community. They are able to provide continuity in these often unstable environments and to serve as a link between the different facets of the child’s life. This means we advocate for children at their school and become someone their family trusts in emergencies.
 
6. We evaluate, measure, and improve. It is imperative for us to know that children are making progress in each of the 12 years we have with them. We use the TouchPoints database by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.
 
Friends spend half their time each month in 1:1 time or in group work where Achievers develop the academic and social/emotional skills, as well as build up their personal resiliencies. 1:1 activities take place at the Friends-Boston space or in community locations. Activities are age-specific, but can include: classroom support and homework help; assistance with job or career exploration; teaching basic financial skills, and; answering questions and talking over issues. In group work, Achievers participate in cultural or recreational activities, peer-to-peer mentoring, as well as discussions on relevant age-appropriate topics, such as community violence or conflict resolution.
 
Friends divide the remaining work with their Achievers based on their individual needs: providing in-school support; working with school staff (including monitoring attendance, behavior, and grades); meeting with the family; and referring Achievers and their families to essential resources. The flexible and long-term nature of our programming combined with our Friends’ expertise ensures that we are able to adjust our interventions to each Achiever’s needs. It also means that we are well positioned to deal with any acute crisis faced by the child or their family.
 
One of the most important factors to the success is our work with the families of our Achievers. Friends spend a great deal of time building relationships with families and then serving as advocates and connectors for them. Many families struggle to effectively navigate the complex systems that provide services to their children, particularly around school and mental health. Friends make targeted referrals to community partners and government agencies, and act as additional support during school meetings. They guide families through the schools choice process, helping them fill out application and meet prerequisites for high-performing middle and high schools, and assist them with finding quality out of school time and summer programs.

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

Our model is unique, courageous, and proven. We purposely select the highest-risk kids and provide them with an intensive relationship-based approach. It is not typical to accept the highest-risk children because they can be disruptive to other organizations, particularly those who do not have the staff qualified to handle children and youth with such high needs. Having paid professional mentors allows us to commit for the long-haul. We make a long-term commitment to each child, from kindergarten through graduation, no matter what.

Instrumental to our success and also unique to our work is our determination and dedication to follow kids for the long term “no matter what.” Friends-Boston is the only organization in MA supporting children for 12 years – 1st grade through high school graduation. For 12 years, Friends will engage our Achievers, even if they move, up to a distance of 30 miles. If kids disengage, we use multiple methods of reaching out—contacting friends, for example, when something good or something tragic happens. If they ever return during the 12 years, we will always accept them back into the program.

Moving mentoring out of the volunteer realm ensures the quality, consistency, and the commitment needed to give the child a new story and break the cycle of poverty. Compensating mentors also makes sense when promoting multi-year matches with challenging youth. Why? First, parents of Friends-Boston children often struggle to maintain their relationships: Nearly 40% of Friends-Boston children are later placed into foster care. Secondly, Grossman and Rhodes (2002) found that 55% of Big Brothers Big Sisters Association matches didn’t reach the 1-year mark and youth with greater psychosocial risks were likely to have matches end early. Thus, maintaining a multi-year match is no easy task. Compensating professional mentors is one way to keep mentors invested in the life of a child, particularly children who face serious barriers to academic and life success. Furthermore, a 2014 study in the Child Youth Care Forum found that professional mentors who serve multiple children full time build greater expertise, credibility, and authority in their work with youth, families, and educational and social service systems.

Friends-Boston currently has a staff of 15 FTEs, 11 of which are direct program staff. Friends specialize and are assigned to a particular age cohort – Elementary, Middle and Adolescent with each cohort being led by a Clinical Lead to offer advanced support to both staff and Achievers. We are highly selective in who we hire, we combine compensation, intrinsic motivation, and required skills in social work, youth development and education.

Friends are trained to engage youth in structured social and emotional learning (SEL), a youth development area increasingly recognized as important for successful school performance. Researchers at Loyola University Chicago recently completed a meta-analysis of 213 rigorous studies of SEL in schools. Students who received SEL instruction scored an average of 11 percentile points higher than other students on key assessments. They also had better classroom behavior, greater motivation to learn, and increased time devoted to schoolwork.

A testament to the dedication and skills of our Friends are two recent awards that 2 of our Friends were bestowed with. In the spring of 2015 Frank Coleman, one of our Adolescent Friends was a recipient of the inaugural Light of Dawnn Awards. Frank was one of only three youth workers selected from hundreds nominated for their work in keeping Boston teens safe. It was an honor for the organization to have Frank recognized and be a part of Dawnn’s legacy. Keisha Gamble, also an Adolescent Friend was honored by the Boston Celtics as a Hero Among Us for her relentless work with her teens and getting all her girls jobs for the summer.


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

There are a number of early warning signs, even at the elementary school level, that help us intervene before it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep a child on track for academic success. Data is collected and analyzed for each child on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. Friends use Daily Activity Journals (DAJ) in TouchPoints by Social Solutions to track information, including quantity and content of service hours, school attendance, behavioral referrals, youth crises, and frequency of contact with caregivers, teachers, and caseworkers.

Additionally in DAJs, Friends actively track the time that they spend on each of the intermediate outcomes (school success, social/emotional development, making good choices, improved health, and plan and skills for the future) as well as what they worked on to meet Roadmap goals. Based on cutting edge youth development research and Friends’ first-hand experience, we have also identified nine core assets that are critical to long-term success that we incorporate into our program: growth mindset, positive relationship building, finding your spark, problem solving, self-determination, self-management, perseverance/grit, hope, and belonging.

Once a month, Friends meet to discuss progress towards meeting monthly hour goals, Achiever progress on academic and social/emotional goals, and stressors that are significantly impacting the lives of our Achievers. From these meetings, Friends and leadership team members celebrate achievements and develop strategies to overcome obstacles.
 
We also collect annual surveys from parents, teachers, and our Achievers to help assess program effectiveness and satisfaction. Each month, Friends track referrals, psychosocial stressors, and Achiever progress toward social and emotional goals; and meet weekly to discuss Achievers’ progress and to develop plans to help them meet larger organizational goals.
 
While our long-term outcomes take over twelve years to develop, we have shown remarkable retention rates. For example, of our first class of 16 Achievers, 13 are still with us. Of the three that left, one moved to another state and one passed away from an illness.
 
Friends-Boston tracks short-terms outcomes which have been proven to lead to achieving our long-term Goals resulting academic and life success. We are seeking the following outcomes for the upcoming school year:
 
    • 95% of Achievers will progress on time to the next grade;
    • 75% of Achievers will attend school regularly (12 absences or less);
    • 90% of Achievers will make progress toward or meet their social/emotional skill goals as detailed in their Road Map for Success; and
    • 90% of our high school Achievers will be employed over the summer.

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

Through our work, we hope to not just duplicate but exceed the success of Friends of the Children-Portland, which graduated its first class of Achievers in 2005. In the 10 classes to be selected since, Portland has seen 85% of their youth graduate from high school, 97% avoid the criminal justice system, and 98% avoid teen parenting.

Achievement of our three core goals not only has a life-changing effect on graduates of the program, but also has a substantial benefit to society as a whole. Based on the achievements of our graduates, analysts from the Harvard Business School Association of Oregon conservatively calculated more than $7.60 in social return for every $1 invested in our program as a result of higher wages earned and lower burdens on social safety nets and the justice system.

Friends-Boston is committed to breaking cycles, changing attitudes, developing skills and shifting mindsets. We have spent 12 years building a solid framework, helping some of Boston’s neediest children and young people and will be graduating our first Achievers in the spring of 2016. At Friends-Boston, we do not shy away from actively seeking out and serving the highest risk kids. Children that statistics and parental circumstance say will be high school drop-outs, teen parents or involved in the juvenile justice system. Friends-Boston believes that these are indeed the kids we must embrace and serve and does so by providing them with a paid professional mentor from 1st grade until they graduate - no matter what!
 
In 2012, we reached a program milestone, as our first class of achievers entered 9th grade. As our first class of Achievers enter the latter half of high school, Friends-Boston is adapting our program model to best meet the needs of teens in that age group. To do this, Friends-Boston created and implemented new adolescent programming. We created a Teen Center, and expanded adolescent programming hours 5 days a week with extended hours on Thursdays and Fridays. We are expanding efforts like our Achiever Education and Career Aspirations Program.
 
Friends-Boston helps all of its teen Achievers prepare for, apply, and get summer jobs. However, this is not as simple as polishing a resume. Friends spend a great deal of time removing bottlenecks to employment by tracking down birth certificates and social security cards and making doctor’s appointments for Achievers. Once these barriers are addressed, they are able to focus on job placement, including helping to create resumes from scratch, help Achievers get suitable clothing, run mock interviews, and even drive some of the Achievers to an interview to help them overcome jitters. Providing year round job placement and skills training for our Achievers is a must and will be embedded into the fabric of our core programming for adolescents. It even starts with our elementary Achievers by creating partnerships with businesses that will do events like Reading or Math Buddies, and providing a broad network of experiences for our children to build off of.
 
While generational poverty is an overwhelming challenge, we are confident that the cycle can be broken. We have seen that our model works. We know every child has untapped potential and their stories can be changed. We also believe our communities can be transformed through our model. At Friends-Boston, not only have we changed the perception of what it means to be a mentor, we have redefined what it takes to successfully mentor a child.