The University of Massachusetts Boston, in partnership with Boston’s Bridge to Excellence Mentoring Program and the BCYF Cleveland Community Center, has launched a new youth-driven billboard campaign promoting mentoring throughout Boston’s neighborhoods.
UMass Boston and the City of Boston wanted to give young people a chance to seriously think about who they want to be in the future – everything from a pilot to the president – while encouraging residents and local businesses to step up and mentor youth in their communities.
Middle school students who participate in the Boston's Bridge to Excellence mentoring program at the Cleveland Community Center created posters depicting their dream jobs, which UMass Boston’s community relations and graphic design teams combined into a billboard design. Clear Channel donated ten billboards across the city to showcase the work.
UMass Boston held an unveiling event March 7 at the corner of Geneva Avenue and Bowdoin Street. Check out the billboard designs and photos from the event on UMass Boston's Flickr site.
“I can personally attest to how much mentoring matters. And how it truly does help young people along the road to success,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “From Pittsburgh to Boston, I have had dozens of role models and mentors who took me under their wing and showed me how to be successful. … Because you care it makes a difference.”
The billboard campaign, titled “Mentoring Matters” and “Mentoring = Student Success,” features two designs. One is a collage of posters the teens created showing jobs they aspire to. The second showcases six Boston teens holding signs with jobs they chose printed on them – architect, basketball player, fireman, teacher, doctor, and graphic designer – as their mentors stand behind them.
“If this message can inspire one adult to step forward and help mentor a student then all of the work and effort for the project will have made an impact,” said Daphne Griffin, chief of Human Services for the city of Boston and executive director of Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF).
Billboards are located at these ten locations:
• Columbus Ave / Washington Street – Roxbury
• Harrison Ave / Palmer St – Roxbury
• Blue Hill Ave / Fairway St. – Mattapan
• Bowdoin /Geneva –Dorchester
• Bowdoin /Geneva -Dorchester
• Dorchester Ave/ Hecla St- Dorchester
• Centre St. / Barbara St – Jamaica Plain
• Hyde Park Ave / Clay St – Hyde Park
• Centre St. / Landseer St. – West Roxbury
• Washington St /Poplar St – Roslindale