B-SAFE/ St. Stephen's Youth Programs


PICS Organization Name
B-SAFE / St. Stephen's Youth Programs

Boston, Massachusetts 

Organization Description

The B-SAFE Program (Bishop’s Summer Academic & Fun Enrichment Program) is the summer program of St. Stephen's Youth Programs. SSYP's mission is to promote equity in education, employment, and opportunity through long-term relationships with young people and their families and communities.

B-SAFE provides safe, enriching activities for hundreds of Boston youth and teens (at least in pre-Covid times). The program strives to build a loving community; to broaden the horizons of our young people through academics, the arts, athletics, technology and educational field trips; and to provide meaningful jobs for teens.

B-SAFE Decreases Violence: Children throughout the Boston-area feel unsafe for a
variety of reasons, from under-funding and leadership changes at their schools to instability at home to gunfire on the streets of some neighborhoods. Almost all of the young people in our programs have witnessed violence, know someone who has been a victim of violence, and/or have suffered violence themselves. Our youth struggle with the grief and anger which
results from experiencing such loss and fears around safety. The B-SAFE Program provides children with physical safety, through vigilant adult supervision, and emotional safety, with our efforts to build a restorative culture and integrate restorative justice practices in all that
we do.

B-SAFE Increases Recreational Options: There are not enough high-quality, low-cost programs for young people in the summertime, especially children from families in the under- resourced neighborhoods in the heart of our city. In the absence of programs like the B-SAFE Program, many children spend the summer inside their homes playing video games or outside unsupervised. Providing a safe environment, with educational activities and recreational activities for school age children, is an issue of justice.

B-SAFE Addresses Systemic Racism and Poverty:
Many children with whom we work do not have a strong sense of self or confidence in their abilities. This is related to systemic racism and messages that run through all media. This, in part, causes many of the youth who participate in our programs struggle to succeed in school. Research shows that young people who participate in supportive academic programs like B-SAFE do better in school.

B-SAFE Builds Meaningful Relationships: We work to help our community—children,
parents,neighbors—feel connected to each other. By building loving, ongoing, and long- lasting relationships with our children we offer opportunities for youth to feel connected to caring adults, teens and peers. B-SAFE offers our young people praise, support and new skills, encouraging them to have a bigger sense of themselves.

B-SAFE Offers Strong Academic Support:
The academic component of the program is designed to stop the learning slide that happens over the summer and help children get to grade level. At all of our sites, we also will offer justice- creating activities, health and wellness learning and recreational games, music and performing arts, electives such as cooking and dance, as well as field trips. (all pending Covid!)

For more info B-SAFE 2020:

Internship Description

**Academic Success Promoter (50% time): The PICS interns will have key responsibility for helping B-SAFE achieve its academic goals.These goals of our curricula are to develop skills in reading, writing, math, science, and technology through experiential learning and creative teaching. There is a theme for the summer (last summer, it was "Be Bold. Be Kind. Be You!"). Our PICS interns offer critical classroom support to student groups who are struggling and the interns gain meaningful classroom experience as an instructor. He/she would do essential work in creating connections between specialists, sharing observations, and best practices and most fun activities. The measure of success for this responsibility will be seen in the quality and creativity of final projects for each specialty at the assigned sites. During past summers, these have included published books of poetry and prose, newspapers, “travel brochures” describing neighborhood sites, surveys and large visual representation of data, spoken word performances, murals, and more. Our PICS interns have a key role in supporting youth and specialists in achieving high level final projects.

** Specialty Day/Partnership Coordinator (20% time): The PICS interns will have responsibility for planning some of the activities, and coaching other people leading activities, and building partnerships for several specialty days. These afternoons will happen at all of our sites and teach new information to our youth through experiential, hands-on activities. We would like to continue to innovate and improve these specialty days. The PICS intern would have key responsibility for planning and coordinating some of these days, including bringing in experts and doing direct teaching. The measure of success will be the organization and quality of the specialty days as well as student satisfaction (as determined by evaluations).

**Overnight Camp Program Designer (20%)
The PICS interns will have key responsibility for planning and carrying out the progression activities for upper level students who participate in the overnight camp in NH. This past summer, these activities included painting in nature, karate, various sports, swimming lessons, canoeing, and science experiments.

**Library Support (10%): At the beginning of the summer, the intern would be assisting the Academic Team and specialists in identifying and distributing the materials needed to teach classes. DEAR time works best when there are books available in a variety of subjects and reading levels. Past PICS interns helped coordinate the donation of thousands of books from our suburban partner churches to build and expand libraries at a number of our sites.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500 10 6/1/21 - 8/6/21 8:00 am 4:00 pm No Yes No Yes

Internship Qualifications

There are three sets of qualities that would make a Princeton student the right person for this internship:

PERSONAL QUALITIES: A “can-do” attitude, flexibility, sense of humor, and grace under pressure are essential characteristics for doing this job well. B-SAFE is a well-established program with experimental components. An intern will need creativity and high energy to keep up with the incredibly fast pace of the summer.An entrepreneurial spirit will also be needed to figure out the best way to help create and improve systems to continue our effort to standardize the kind of teaching and education happening in our multiple sites.

EDUCATIONAL QUALITIES: While not required, this position would be a great fit for a student who is studying to be a teacher, considering a career in education, or exploring community organizing in an urban setting. The intern will get first-hand experience in dealing with issues facing urban public school systems and witness some of the seemingly intractable problems facing America’s city schools as systemic racism, violence, teaching that is geared to standardized tests (and does not reward creativity from teachers or students), limited resources for books and materials, retaining high quality teachers, inadequate facilities, and more. Most of our students speak English as a second language. The B-SAFE Program is committed to offering solutions to these problems and creating a learning environment that is fun, caring, and treats each student as an individual.

EXPERIENCE: There are several types of experiences that would give an intern some advantages: having taught or tutored in an urban public school or afterschool program, having been a student in an urban public school, having worked at a camp serving urban youth, having worked in a non-profit organization. While not required, these types of experiences would give an intern some of the skills necessary to succeed in the B-SAFE Program as an academic intern. Speaking Spanish, Cape Verdean Creole, or Haitian Creole would be an extra plus.

** Writing sample is required: Essay, article, blog**

Additional Skills

Having candidates with a special interest in or talent for Visual or Performing Arts or Sports / Health and Wellness would be a particular benefit this year. We anticipate piloting more specialized programming in these areas and a PICS intern could help launch this innovation.

Additional Info

All work should happen during regular hours. The first two weeks of the internship will likely have a slightly different schedule, closer to 10am-6pm.

We can assist the intern in finding lower cost housing in the Boston area, but we do not provide housing.

** Writing sample is required: Essay, blog post, newspaper article, or example of curriculum all welcome**

Former Interns
Grace Zhuang '23, Lauren Almstead '23, Myrha Qadir '21, Emily Cheng '21, Kezia Otinkorang '20

Evaluation Excerpt

During my internship, I was at the forefront of what an organization does to make sure that the kids, no matter what background they come from, can be given the opportunities to partake in a fun, meaningful, and enriching summer. I would consider this to be a huge effort in the area of systemic and social change, and was most definitely enriching as an experience. I was exposed to many new perspectives and ideas and am grateful for this new lens. -- Grace Zhuang '23

On the last day of a summer camp that I taught classes at, one of the activities I led the kids through was to set goals for yourself and think about where you want to be in five years. One of the kid's responded that he wanted to have bought his mom a home, and have provided and supported her. Then the second part of the activity was to say what you wanted to still be striving for in five years, and the same kid responded that he wants to always strive to be a good father for the future children he will have. Both of those answers he gave were both just really sweet and are answers that I will remember for a long time, whenever I think about children who grow up in disadvantaged communities. However, the most memorable experience came after that when class ended and I offered that the kids could stay extra just to chat since that was the last class where I would ever see them. I got two kids who stayed for an extra 45 minutes and it was just really gratifying to see that they got enough out of the class and built strong enough connections to want to spend time together. -- Lauren Almstead '22

The greatest strength of the organization is the genuine passion and love for the young people that they serve. I have never been among a more genuine group of activists in my entire life that take their passion for a social inequity and work this hard to try to correct it in some way.
—Jean Bellamy '19

Among the skills that I gained through this internship are time management through considering transportation time and meeting deadlines, office etiquette, problem-solving and adaptability, and better communication skills and leadership skills. In addition to such skills, I fostered great relationships with my supervisor and colleagues and with the students I taught... I am very glad that I interned there this summer and that was blessed with such an opportunity!
—Kezia Otinkorang '20

My best work experience this summer was being able to see and listen to the new things my students learned as a result of my classes. Whether it be them asking me questions about a lesson at lunch, or listening to them present what they learned in my class throughout the program at their closing ceremony, it was super fulfilling to know that I helped these students learn something new this summer.
—Rachel Gonzales '19

The program I worked with helped me learn about the needs of children and especially those who do not come from the most fortunate circumstances. They held rallies that I could participate in and the training series provided me with information about working with our children and understanding some of the issues that they face.  —Emily Cheng '21