Check out this inspiring article by Travis Ross, about Catherine Walper, the advisor to the Brockton Youth Council:
Corey Dolgon & Edward Jacoubs, Brockton’s Promise co-chairs
A promise is only as good as the trust that exists between those making a promise and those we want to convince that we will carry out the substance of the promise. A change in behavior, a desired good or service, a strategic plan or mission, a sacred responsibility or simply a favor: all are things we “Promise” to do because we haven’t done them yet. In many ways, however, Brockton’s Promise is different: we have already accomplished much.
Over the past 10 years since our inception:
BP has provided some useful opportunities to make sure that Brockton youth get the education, mentorship, and resources they need to develop into healthy and thriving adults. Brockton’s Promise is not a service provider. Rather each one of the Promises has a voluntary team of residents working to strengthen the delivery of each promise by enhancing already existing community resources.
In many ways, however, much still needs to be done. Dropout rates are still too high. Too many local youth are victims of crime or the trauma of witnessing or being related to the victims of crime. Too many young people live in poverty and don’t receive adequate food, shelter or health care. More importantly the city’s institutions and structures often struggle to create the opportunities or adequate systems for low-income parents to sufficiently meet the 21st century needs of their children. We know that raising children takes a village, but Brockton is a very large village. The city’s challenges are great-but we believe our people’s hearts and hands are even greater.
This issue of the BP newsletter marks a recommitment on behalf of the BP leadership team as we reconfigure ourselves and our Promise Teams. Inside this issue you will see announcements for events, especially the upcoming Mentorship Rally. Please join us in planning for this event. You will also see information about joining all of the BP teams and we hope that you contact us about getting involved. The more we meet and talk, the more we plan and do, the more we reflect and recommit, the more we build the bonds of trust-especially with our youth.
We can and must do better. We will do better. We Promise!
To get involved or to learn more, contact us:
My name is Kaitlyn Schweikert. I am a sophomore Healthcare Administration/Psychology double major at Stonehill College. I am from a small town in midcoast Maine, Belfast. I chose to participate in the Building Leaders Learning Community because of the opportunity to go beyond the classroom and become involved in a social justice program. The idea of applying classroom theory to a community program appealed to me. Theories presented in the classroom become significant when they can be applied to real life situations, like this gardening initiative. In seventh grade, our middle school curriculum was based solely around the garden. Each classroom curriculum, math, science, social studies and English, was in some way linked to the garden. For example, in social studies, we studied economics. We applied the theories taught in the classroom to the garden by establishing a Farm Stand and selling our products to the community after school. We also had to establish a business plan that could be used to open a business that utilized garden products. I do not remember many lessons from middle school. However, those classes that involved applying ideas and concepts taught in the classroom to the garden have stuck with me over the last seven years. I think that this fact is very significant and is part of the reason that I am so excited to be working with kids in a similar environment to the one I had in middle school. I hope that the academic lessons come alive through experimentation and hands on learning so that they can have an effect on children not just that day, but in the future as well. I believe that experiential learning is incredibly valuable. After watching the documentary entitled, Hunger Hits Home, I developed an even greater appreciation and desire to become involved in projects that make a difference for children and families. The documentary featured families across the country who are undernourished and struggling to get by. This serves as inspiration to do a good job in our work and solidifies that there is a great need in our country and community for kids to have access to programing and positive experiences at school, such as these community gardens. I am looking forward to meeting the students next week and implementing our garden-based learning activities into the classroom!
It’s almost February and that means National Mentoring Month is almost over! But this is really where it all begins!
Spending just one hour a week with a child can make a difference that will last a lifetime. There is no better time to be involved. Whether you want to join a formal mentoring program, or be the neighbor who watches out for the kids on the block, join us in ensuring a wonderful future for the next generation of Brockton’s Champions!
Though people do not always realize it, Brockton is a City rich with resources and individuals who are continuously working to expand opportunities for families and youth. After all, we were just named one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People for the fourth time! While community coalitions like Brockton’s Promise and its wonderful partners are putting in a great deal of effort to make residents more aware of the resources that are available, sometimes it is helpful to have a visual summary of where all of these services are. I am a visual person myself so I wanted to give you a brief tutorial of how you can map out all of Brockton’s assets from the comforts of your office or home using a tool powered by Google technology and the HelpLine at BAMSI.
We’ll begin by visiting http://www.brocktonspromise.org/ where you will be greeted by a homepage that looks like this:
At the bottom of the page where it says, “Find & Map it!” click on the “Get Started” Button. If you want to skip this step, you can visit the direct link at: http://brocktonspromise.org/maps/. Both methods will bring you to a page with a Google map of Brockton, like the one pictured below.
On the right, you will see a column with a list of “Services Offered.” The services in Brockton have been broken down into 8 general categories, each of which are represented by a different color: Basic Needs, Child and Family Services, Community Services, Education, Health Care and Substance Abuse Services, Legal Services, Mental Health Care and Counseling, and Public Benefits. Let’s see what happens when we click on Basic Needs, which includes services that assist with necessities like food, water, heating, etc.
As you can see, when we click on Basic Needs, a number of little gray bubbles pop up that match with the corresponding gray color for this service category. Additionally, you will see bubbles with small plus signs inside of them. This (+) means that the program covers more than one service. For example, the Department of Public Health may provide assistance with Basic Needs, but it might also provide Child and Family Services. Let’s keep it simple for now and click on one of the gray bubbles that will cover Basic Needs.
As you can see, I clicked on the Brockton Seventh Day Adventist Church Food Pantry. This might be near my home or office, but I’m not sure how to get there. To find out, I click on the title in blue letters.
Once I click on the title, a new window pops up giving me the contact information for this food pantry, which is on 235 Court Street in Brockton. Though there is not a website or email address, I do have the phone number I can call if I have any questions. Additionally, I can click on the tabs next to “Contact Info” to find out the Hours of Business, Eligibility Requirements, (if there are any), and other Services offered at this location, (again, if there are any).
Now, how is this tool helpful if I am looking to leave from my location right now to get to this particular service? Well, if you’ll notice below the contact information, there is a mini Google map and a section that says “Get Directions.”
In the box, where it says “From,” I type my current address, “32 Belmont Street Brockton MA 02301,” and click “Go.” Not only does the map on the left show me where I need to go to get to this Food Pantry, but I also have step by step directions on the right side to help me reach my destination.
If you already know the organization you are looking for, but you are not sure where they are located, or if you know there are multiple locations for this organization and you want to find the one with services most applicable to you, this tool also gives you the option of doing a direct search. Return to the original Maps page by exiting out of the Seventh Day Adventist Food Pantry window. You will see that under the Service options on the right side, there is a search button. First, I “uncheck” the Basic Needs option, by clicking on the small check mark on the Basic Needs box. Then I type “BAMSI” in the search bar and click “Go,” which presents me with a map display that has the various BAMSI locations and services throughout the City.
I have the ability to browse through the different locations and see which one fits my needs. You will see that most of BAMSI’s locations are represented by the bubble with the plus sign (+) because they offer more than one service. The search bar can also be used to search with more broad terms, like “food” or “heating.” It is meant to simplify your life and help you find the service you need and the most convenient location where it is offered.
If you want to see a list of all of the services that are represented on this map of Brockton, you can also scroll to the bottom of the map screen, and view the “Map Search Results,” along with links to view the description, get directions, contact information or the organization’s website.
Keep in mind that when you do this, there will be over 15 pages of results so it might be quicker to go by the color-coded categories or use the search bar if you do not have as much time!
Additionally, if you are working at an organization in Brockton that is not listed on this Service Map, or your information has changed, we want to make sure you are represented and that your organization’s information is correct! To add your agency or update information, you can click “Make a Promise” on the lower right hand corner of the map page, or click the “Make a Promise” button on the homepage at http://www.brocktonspromise.org./ Our database is updated quarterly, so you can be sure that we will do our best to make the appropriate changes very soon!
While this was a long and detailed explanation, once you get the hang of using this map, it can be a quick way to help you to find what you need in Brockton. We hope that this tool will assist both residents in the community, and providers who might be working with clients to find services that are close to their home or their child’s school.
As said earlier, this map is powered by the database at BAMSI’s Helpline. The Helpline is an information and referral program that operates as a free telephone community service. If the map doesn’t answer all of your questions, the Helpline staff are available to assist you at 508-584-4357. Or you can ask your questions here by commenting below! Thanks for following along and happy mapping!