Harbor Point Outreach Partnership

UMass Boston students, involved with the Harbor Point Outreach Project, are tutoring youth at the nearby Walter Denney Youth Center, as part of their service-learning.

The Harbor Point Outreach Partnership (Prof. Joan Arches, Partnership Director)

Started in 2004, the Harbor Point Outreach Partnership (HPOP) continues as a community-university tutoring and after-school youth enrichment program based on the work of students in service-learning classes and volunteers from the University of Massachusetts Boston and the community. 

The HPOP program recognizes that the best way to promote healthy youth and prevent youth violence is through helping youth to get through school, get into the pipeline to higher education, and have the skills and knowledge to be successful adults.  Research suggests that youth who do not graduate from high school are at risk for prison, and candidates for violence. 

What We Do
Our volunteers provide educational support through after-school tutoring and mentoring, in-class teacher assistance, and enrichment classes. We also host activities to bring youth to campus, and have developed after-school programs that contribute to positive youth development. Successful programs in the past included a teen philosophy class, healthy cooking classes, math and creative writing clubs.

Primary Community Partners
Tutoring/mentoring to youth and teens takes place at the Walter Denney Youth Center at the Harbor Point Apartment Community (HPAC), and at the Dever-McCormack Elementary School.  The Dever-McCormack Elementary School was designated a Turn Around school by the City of Boston.

Examples of Inter-College Activities with HPOP
Beginning in 2010-2011, four additional service-learning classes in Sociology, English, Nursing, and Management were linked to this program.  Students provide tutoring, ESL classes, financial literacy and healthy eating workshops for teens and an updated needs assessment.  In addition, healthy life classes, involving a focus on food and exercising are carried out through these links.

General Impact of HPOP
In addition to the cited student activities and accomplishments, HPOP has led to the creation of a community newsletter, and annual “Youth2Campus” events.

During the 2010-2011, for example, approximately one hundred UMass Boston students from all of colleges (both graduate and undergraduate) were involved with this program.  In total, they served approximately 40 elders, and approximately two hundred youth; most of these youth attend the Boston Public Schools.  Students put in approximately 5,300 hours of service at Harbor Point.

Get Involved
Volunteers are needed for our activities taking place at the nearby Walter Denney Youth Center, or occasionally the Dever-McCormack School. Find out how you can make a difference in the lives of children and teens while promoting social change and being a mentor to those who need you most! To volunteer complete, print and remit the volunteer/work study application, email or visit our get involved page. 

We would like to acknowledge the financial support of the Corporation for National & Community Service’s Learn & Serve grant; The Massachusetts Service Alliance; the Commonwealth Corps and the University of Massachusetts Boston, Division of Athletics, Recreation, Special Projects and Programs.  Thank you!