Study says employment bridges the achievement gap
Youth ages 14 -21 are encouraged to apply and can earn between $2,112 and $2,812
(BOSTON, MA) – ABCD SummerWorks has increased capacity and calls on Boston youth to
apply right away. Thanks to key partnerships and supporters, long standing and new,
SummerWorks will provide summer jobs to 1,700 underserved youth ages 14-21.
SummerWorks distinguishes itself by placing youth in nonprofit and mission-driven
organizations, allowing youth to give back to the community while obtaining career skills,
earning a paycheck and being in community with their peers when school is not in session.
Participants will engage in career development, job readiness workshops and mentoring
ABCD President and CEO Sharon Scott-Chandler said critical investments and partnerships
allow ABCD SummerWorks to provide these economic empowerment, personal and career
development opportunities to Boston’s underserved youth. “We are thankful to Mayor
Michelle Wu and her team at the Office of Workforce Development, Commonwealth
Corporation, worksite partners and corporate partners like State Street and Bank of America
for their commitment to Boston youth and for their belief in SummerWorks,” she said. “For
over 55 years, SummerWorks has set a foundation for Boston youth and played a role in
producing the next generation of leaders. We urge community-based organizations and other
nonprofits to host students at their worksites and help facilitate this vital pathway into a
SummerWorks participated in a study assessing factors that mitigate challenges that low-
income students and students of color in urban settings face during school breaks, thereby
widening the achievement gap. According to Commonwealth Magazine, “New research
evidence among Boston high school students points to an out-of-school factor that can help
close those gaps: a job,” citing the study led by Alicia Sasser Modestino, the research director
at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University.
The study compared outcomes for students who participated in ABCD SummerWorks and those
who did not, finding that students who took part in SummerWorks had improved attendance
and grades the following school year, and were more likely to graduate from high school than
those without summer jobs.
Modestino also told Commonwealth Magazine “along with gaining other skills, summer
employment inculcated a sense of responsibility to show up every day that carried over into the
Over the years, SummerWorks has produced thousands of success stories. Some notable
alumni include Boston’s first woman, first Black mayor of the city of Boston and former Boston
City Councilor Kim Janey; Boston’s first Black Police Commissioner William Gross; Boston City
Councilor, At Large, Julia Mejia; Multicultural/Cause Related PR & Marketing Consultant and
Boston University Professor of Practice Kelley Chunn, and Golden Globe winner and four-time
Emmy nominated writer, actor and producer Frank Renzulli whose credits include Crash, The
Sopranos, The Walking Dead and The Wonder Years, among others.
ABCD SummerWorks partners with more than 150 nonprofit and mission-driven organizations
throughout Boston. Youth placement opportunities include positions at health centers, day
camps, government agencies, childcare and community centers. Employment partners have
included: ABCD Head Start; Boston Baseball Camp; Boston Asian Youth Essential Service; Boston
City Hall; Boston Police Department; Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Ellis Early Learning, Little
Voices; The Mattahunt Community Center; Salvation Army, Shaloh House; The Daily Table;
United South End Settlements, Vietnamese American Civic Association, YMCA and YouthBuild,
A Massachusetts-based nonprofit human services organization, ABCD provides disadvantaged residents in the Boston and Mystic Valley areas with the tools, support, and resources they need to transition from poverty to stability and from stability to success. Each year, we serve more than 100,000 individuals, elders and families through a broad range of innovative initiatives as well as long-established, proven programs and services. For 60 years, ABCD has been deeply rooted in each neighborhood we serve, empowering individuals and families and supporting them in their quest to live with dignity and achieve their highest potential. For more information, please visit bostonabcd.org.