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Mystic Learning Center

 530 Mystic Avenue, Room 103
 Somerville, MA 02145
[P] (617) 6230110
[F] (617) 6234750
Florence Bergmann
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 22-2800993

LAST UPDATED: 06/07/2016
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

The mission of the Mystic Learning Center is to improve the lives of low-income children and families who live in the Mystic Public Housing Development, the City of Somerville and surrounding communities. Through child care, educational, and recreational services; youth job opportunities; social programs; and community engagement, the MLC provides families with tools they need to overcome poverty and become self-sufficient.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Mystic Learning Center is to improve the lives of low-income children and families who live in the Mystic Public Housing Development, the City of Somerville and surrounding communities. Through child care, educational, and recreational services; youth job opportunities; social programs; and community engagement, the MLC provides families with tools they need to overcome poverty and become self-sufficient.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $434,379.00
Projected Expense $434,379.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Books of Hope
  • Empowering Competent Youth Program
  • Launch! GED
  • School-Age Child Care

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

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


Mission Statement

The mission of the Mystic Learning Center is to improve the lives of low-income children and families who live in the Mystic Public Housing Development, the City of Somerville and surrounding communities. Through child care, educational, and recreational services; youth job opportunities; social programs; and community engagement, the MLC provides families with tools they need to overcome poverty and become self-sufficient.

Background Statement

Throughout its 42 year history, the Mystic Learning Center (MLC) has successfully served low-income children, youth, and families of the Mystic Public Housing Development, Somerville and surrounding communities. Its mission is to provide families with the tools they need to overcome poverty and become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community. Founded in 1971, the Center operates as a 501 (c) (3) organization and has been under the direction of Florence Bergmann, a former Mystic tenant, since 1978. The MLC provides enriching youth educational support activities, and leadership development using an innovative model of peer leadership and parental involvement. The Center is fully licensed by the state, operates year round, and offers after-school, evening, school vacation, and summer programs. Annually, the Mystic Learning Center serves some 300 youth and trains and employs 20 peer leaders and 8 summer basketball coaches. It reaches over 300 family members and 1400 community members through its programs and events.
Following are the programs currently offered at MLC:
  • School-Age Childcare
  • Books of Hope: Literacy Empowerment
  • Empowering Competent Youth Employment
  • MLC Summer Camp
  • Leader in Training
  • Real Kids, Real Food

Thousands of Somerville residents have benefited from MLC programs over the years. Young people increase their self-sufficiency and self-respect through academic support, literacy development, job training, leadership and life skills training, and mentoring. MLC’s youth development activities help youth to mature, develop skills and assets, and make an orderly transition to adulthood. The School-Age Childcare program provides year-round early education and care during out-of-school time for children whose parents work or attend school or job training. Key to the Center’s success is its devoted staff and low staff turnover rate. Also, many MLC youth have parents or older siblings who formerly attended the program as children. The activities offered by the MLC are well known and highly regarded in the community; the Center has no difficulty in attracting participants. The MLC’s service model stands out among other service providers in the area because of its high level of youth participation, parental involvement and grounding in the community. Parents serve on its Board and their participation brings valuable energy to policy and program development. Parents gain skills and develop a sense of pride and community spirit.

Impact Statement

  • Assist youth to succeed in school and to graduate from high school by providing year round educational support and academic enrichment.
  • Provide group workshops for youth on interpersonal skills, life skills, career development, and job readiness. 
  • Conduct workshops on teen health issues.  
  • Employ teenagers as Peer Leaders year-round and so that they may have a constructive, learning work experience that will aid in their leadership and career development.
  • Provide childcare, healthy snacks, and a safe and nurturing place for school-age children and young adults, ages 5 to 21, to be when school is not is session. 
  • Develop the leadership potential of adults and youth at Mystic by empowering them to design, implement, and take ownership of the program that serves them.
  • Provide childcare support to parents who are working and/or going to school.
  • Offer individual assistance and support for children, youth and families with special needs.
  • Support activities that promote physical fitness, good nutrition, and healthy lifestyles.
  • Provide mentoring to children and youth to bolster self-esteem and to create caring relationships with adults.


Needs Statement

MLC has reached a turning point in its long history of serving low-income families in Somerville and has decided to launch a strategic planning process to strengthen capacity and infrastructure to ensure the Center's success well into the future.  It is estimated that this year-long process will cost $10,000 to $15,000.
As its programming for adolescents and young adults expand, MLC increasingly is in need of space to house its out-of-school youth programs.
The Center relies on volunteers to provide a diverse range of skills to its children and youth programs and support to its administration. Volunteers are needed as to assist with the school-age childcare program and the afterschool program, as well mentors, writing workshop presenters, marketing and events assistants, and to assist with data entry and bookkeeping.
Training for MLC Board Members which is composed of parents of Center children and community members, many of whom are getting their first experience in organizational governance as volunteers of the MLC.
Job skills training, counseling and mentoring for MLC youth programs members and young adults.

CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

Somerville and surrounding communities of Medford, Malden, Everett, Cambridge and Boston

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Child Day Care
  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)



Books of Hope

Books of Hope (BOH) is a literacy empowerment program that brings creative writing workshops to at-risk urban and immigrant youth in the communities where they live. Its mission is to develop the next generation of young authors. The program serves youth, ages 13-25, in Somerville and neighboring cities of Boston, Cambridge, Medford, Malden, and Everett. Through BOH, youth gain reading, writing, public speaking, and performance skills; are encouraged to be active participants in their communities through advocacy, entrepreneurship, and community service; and are empowered to write books. Since its inception, 150 books have been written by BOH authors.
Throughout the year, 40-50 youth are trained in four key areas: writing, publishing, performance, and entrepreneurship through which they develop core competencies in oral and written language, problem solving, critical thinking, art, media, and technology. They are mentored by BOH staff, guest writers and artists, and volunteers representing diverse professions, who support youth’s personal, academic, and creative development. Additionally, BOH provides bi-monthly, drop-in academic sessions and public programs, such as open mics, film screenings, and author readings that are free to all youth. These programs enable BOH to reach an additional 100 youth annually with short-term activities. BOH youth read their work to thousands of audiences each year, throughout New England.
Budget  $90,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Literacy
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) College Aged (18-26 years) At-Risk Populations
Program Short-Term Success  BOH has been effective in increasing written and oral English Language skills among at-risk, urban and immigrant youth. Completion rates for our program have averaged 75% over the past 3 years. In the same period, 100% of BOH program members have finished their academic years successfully, 91% have enrolled in college following high school, and 30% of youth enrolled for 30 weeks or more have been placed in advanced English classes. 68% of BOH members re-enroll in the program; 38% author more than one book.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success is determined by whether the program has expanded youth’s expectations of themselves and their community. Evidence of success in this area is that BOH youth have experienced writing and academic success beyond Books of Hope. One member won a college essay award, another won a statewide poetry contest, another was named a Posse Scholar due in large part to an essay she wrote about her experience in Books of Hope. Recently, two long-time members received four-year scholarships to college. Both credited being an author with impressing college admissions officers. 80% of BOH youth who attend college receive degrees. Several graduates have returned to the program to lead workshops and activities for current youth.
Program Success Monitored By  BOH measures its success by determining how well participants have achieved the objectives of developing skills in writing, publishing, performing and selling their work. Formal evaluations are conducted through pre- and post- surveys administered at the beginning and end of program cycles. Weekly records are kept regarding youth attendance, number of performances delivered, and book sales. At the mid-term of each cycle, editor/mentors hold individual evaluation meetings with youth to review their writing development, determine any additional supports they may need, and assess their progress on reaching program goals. A structured, roundtable feedback session which includes all members, staff and volunteers is held toward the end of each cycle that provides for reflection, feedback, and suggestions for program improvement. The program is assessed informally through discussions with other youth program providers during conferences and workshops attended by BOH staff. Somerville Arts Council and Mystic Learning Center directors meet monthly with BOH staff to review program goals and design, youth activities, budgets, and schedules.
Examples of Program Success 
BOH youth’s writing has been published in newspapers (two editions of Spare Change News), in blogs (New Paris Press), on radio (The Bridge), used in college curriculum (poem “My Accent” by professor at New England College of Business and Finance), and sparked creative works (composer Lyle Davidson of New England Conservatory is using the poem “Where I Come From” to create a musical score about homelessness). BOH writers were invited to open for American Book Award winner Nikky Finney at a major poetry conference and be featured readers at a literary festival in New York. Our slam team wowed audiences over a multi-day competition, eventually coming in second in the state among 16 slam teams in our first time competing in that type of forum.
Just as importantly, BOH youth have displayed outstanding leadership qualities by organizing their communities around important issues, such as transportation and healthy food access; hosting fun, anti-violence events for teens; performing community service; giving away books; and developing valuable job skills. Finally, BOH alumni continue to return to the program during school vacations and summers to help lead workshops, attend performances and events, and create partnerships between BOH and their colleges and workplaces.

Empowering Competent Youth Program

Job training and employment of low-income teens is the focus of the Empowering Competent Youth Program (ECYP). Since 1998 ECYP has offered work experience, educational support activities, and leadership development for twelve to sixteen in-school youth per year who are hired and trained as Peer Leaders in the school-age childcare, after school, and summer programs. The goal is to build youth competencies and assets through academic remediation, work experience, and leadership development.

As Peer Leaders, youth gain valuable on-the-job experience in a variety of fields including: early care and education, human services, child development, special education, teaching, information technology, youth work, health care and mental health services. ECYP allows youth to explore different career options and to discover what training, education, and experience is necessary to be successful in these fields.

Budget  $60,000.00
Category  Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) At-Risk Populations Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success    
Program Long-Term Success    
Program Success Monitored By    
Examples of Program Success    

Launch! GED

The program targets youth ages 14 to 21 for GED preparation and workforce development.Up to 15 students attend classes 5 days each week where they receive a combination of directed independent study, individual coaching, large group teacher-led instruction, and interactive on-line learning.
Budget  $88,000.00
Category  Education, General/Other Dropout Programs
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years) Minorities Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success    
Program Long-Term Success    
Program Success Monitored By    
Examples of Program Success    

School-Age Child Care

The guiding principles of the School-Age Child Care Program are to enhance the educational, emotional, and social development of children. Young people ages 5-13 enroll in a structured program designed to expand their interests and horizons, and to develop positive attitudes toward others. The Child Care Program is open weekdays during the school year from 2:30 to 5:30 pm for ages 5 to 13 and ages 5 to 16 for children with special needs. On early release Wednesdays, the program runs from 12:00 to 5:30 pm, and during vacations it operates from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm.

Budget  $200,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Child Care
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years) Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Families
Program Short-Term Success    
Program Long-Term Success    
Program Success Monitored By    
Examples of Program Success    

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments



CEO/Executive Director Ms Florence Bergmann
CEO Term Start June 1978
CEO Email
CEO Experience   
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 Tracey Stearns Assistant Director   


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Provider's Council

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


Mystic Learning Center is an active member of the Mystic and Clarendon Providers Group and the Somerville Housing Authority’s Resident Services Committee. It regularly collaborates with Mystic Tenants’ Association, the Welcome Project, the Mystic Counseling Center, Broadway Health Center, the Metro-North Regional Employment Board, Tufts University, and The Career Place among many other local nonprofit groups.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 18
Number of Volunteers 40
Number of Contract Staff 5
Staff Retention Rate % 100%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 7
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 8
Hispanic/Latino: 7
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 2 - Biracial
Gender Female: 15
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Under Development
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy --
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 Ms Kimberly Rodriguez
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer, Parent
Board Chair Term Aug 2015 - July 2016
Board Co-Chair Donna Barnett
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation grandparent
Board Co-Chair Term Aug 2015 - July 2016

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Luceneia Almeida community volunteer Voting
Joy Alvarez community volunteer Voting
Juana Arias community volunteer Voting
Ms Donna Barnett Community Volunteer, Parent Voting
Tanya Cafarella community volunteer Voting
Wyvonne Carter community volunteer Voting
Mr Samuel Cochran Community Volunteer, Parent Voting
Francisa Da Cruz community volunteer Voting
Keslaine Dodin community volunteer Voting
Cristine Dubon community volunteer Voting
Yvonne Gonzalez community volunteer Voting
Jennifer Hanlon community volunteer Voting
Ivy Hill community volunteer Voting
Kawsar Jahan community volunteer Voting
Matthania Louis community volunteer Voting
Kellye Lymons community volunteer Voting
Letecia Martinez community volunteer Voting
Fabiana Martins community volunteer Voting
Lashawna Mc Lawhorn community volunteer Voting
Pedrina Mendez community volunteer Voting
Gloria Mendosa Community Volunteer Voting
Reina Mendosa community volunteer Voting
Rose Michel community volunteer Voting
Arland Navarro community volunteer Voting
Ms Kim Rodriguez Community Volunteer, Parent Voting
Rosa Sanchez community volunteer Voting
Dany St. Cyr community volunteer Voting
Osee St. Cyr community volunteer Voting
Ruthie Tejeda community volunteer Voting
Alba Velasqyez community volunteer Voting
Lisa Vendetti community volunteer Voting
Stephanie Yanes community volunteer 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: 10
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 13
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 3 - Portuguese
Gender Female: 29
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 85%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Under Development
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 60%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Fiscal Affairs
  • Governance and Policy
  • Performance and Quality Improvement
  • Personnel
  • Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $434,379.00
Projected Expense $434,379.00
Form 990s

2015 990

2014 990

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

Audit Documents

2015 Audit

2014 Audit

2013 Review

2012 Review

2011 Review

2010 Review

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Revenue $508,763 $536,064 $515,415
Total Expenses $535,609 $547,524 $500,860

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $289,329 $288,409 $266,909
    Federal -- -- --
    State $274,860 $271,409 $251,409
    Local $14,469 $17,000 $15,500
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $58,794 $102,380 $79,140
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $157,632 $144,754 $169,366
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other $3,008 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Program Expense $494,511 $512,137 $449,594
Administration Expense $24,578 $20,191 $34,686
Fundraising Expense $16,520 $15,196 $16,580
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.95 0.98 1.03
Program Expense/Total Expenses 92% 94% 90%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 5% 4% 5%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Total Assets $125,896 $145,077 $174,936
Current Assets $125,896 $145,077 $174,936
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $31,346 $23,681 $42,080
Total Net Assets $94,550 $121,396 $132,856

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
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 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? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 4.02 6.13 4.16

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2014 2013
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in charts and graphs are per the organization's audited or reviewed financials. 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?