This summer, we were hired by Boston Partners in Education as John Hancock MLK Summer Scholars. The MLK Summer Scholars program supports youth and non-profits in the community by funding paid internships that help youth gain important job skills and support the organization’s mission. Our role with Boston Partners was to focus on volunteer recruitment by conducting community-based outreach.
We began our summer as three young ladies who knew nothing about each other. We came from three different high schools, different backgrounds, and different neighborhoods. But one thing we did know was that we all had a similar goal to accomplish. The goal was to recruit academic mentors (in-school volunteers) for Boston Public Schools students just like us. To achieve our goal, we targeted the Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods. There are many students in these areas that are not matched with an academic mentor, which means these students are not getting the extra support they need.
In our time recruiting academic mentors, we learned valuable life skills and how to get a sense of community and people. One member from our Summer Scholars group was familiar with going to targeted neighborhoods to talk with community members. She used her prior experience to help us improve our communication skills to better understand the needs of the community. Our supervisors and mentors also helped us with these skills, and even helped us create our own Boston Partners pitches. We attended many meetings, and even had a luncheon at Liberty Mutual headquarters, where we met the SVP and CIO of Commercial Insurance and a few other employees. We also met a few Boston Partners board members and learned about their daily jobs. Our time here wasn’t always about work, though – we had a company outing at Kimball Farm, and we got to hang out, talk to, and really get to know our co-workers.
All in all, we made many connections, unforgettable memories and relationships we will continue to grow, which have made this summer one of the best yet. We would like to thank everyone at Boston Partners in Education who welcomed us with open arms and minds.
Jennifer M, Nabeehah E-H, Leya V