The ABCD Youth Services Department serves in-school and out-of-school youth through a variety of year-round workforce development programs. Focusing on different industries, the programs provide youth with soft skills, job training, paid internships, and the support of caring adults through case management and mentorship. When all ABCD Youth programs shifted to distance learning, many youth found themselves without the proper technology to participate or enough food to eat. Youth who were parents also had trouble accessing diapers and formula. The Youth Services staff tapped into their personal and professional networks to make sure their clients were taken care of.
Rand, a graduate student at MIT, said “I’m a graduate student myself. I want to know that other students can learn during COVID-19 and I can help. I would be more than happy to buy and donate laptops for students.” Kayla, 21, received a laptop from Rand. She had been using her phone to complete workshops and assignments, doing her best to keep up. Kayla shared “I can’t believe someone gave me a laptop, I will be able to do more now.”
Julia, a Jamaica Plain resident, purchased her own masks from a local business Designs by Rey. When Julia learned ABCD youth were having trouble accessing masks, they purchased more and the masks were distributed to the youth.
Seeing the need for no-contact deliveries of groceries and other necessities, Sarah, a Boston resident, connected with the young mothers, picked up groceries, and delivered the goods to their doorsteps
Jeanee and Yadelis, both 21 year old mothers, connected with Sarah. Yadelis had a tough week with her son being sick, trying to spend as much time with him as possible. She received groceries from Sarah and a mask from Julia. Yadelis said, “The help means a lot”. Jeanee was in and out of the hospital and had moved into a shelter. “Sarah helped with the groceries and diapers throughout the whole process, when I was not able to go able myself”, Jeanee said.
ABCD extends our gratitude to all the donors and volunteers who have stepped up to show our young people that they are cared for and supported.