Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Boston Housing Authority launches mentoring program for residents of its Gallivan Housing development

News from NHC's family of members
by Radiah Shabazz, National Housing Conference

NHC member Boston Housing Authority recently announced the launch of a new campus-based mentoring program for residents in its Gallivan Housing development. The program was launched in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Babson College and the Olin College of Engineering.

The program was developed as a unique version of Big Brothers Big Sister and will give children living in Gallivan the opportunity to experience college life first-hand through one-on-one mentoring with a current Babson or Olin College student. The 18 student-mentor pairs will meet twice a month at the Babson College campus. The program’s goal is to inspire mentored students to become entrepreneurial leaders and service leaders in their communities.

“Our partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and now Babson College and Olin College, helps to provide our public housing youth with the tools they need to succeed,” Boston Housing Authority Administrator, Bill McGonagle, said in a press release. “For some of these young people, this will be their first time on a college campus, a crucial step towards furthering their educational potential.”

The opportunity Gallivan children receive through this mentoring partnership is one that is not often afforded to residents in affordable housing developments. Many of the children living in the Gallivan Housing development are from low-income, single-parent households, a population shown to benefit greatly from mentoring relationships that promote positive educational outcomes. Our recent literature review, The Impacts of Affordable Housing on Education, examines key links between housing and education and how students achieve greater educational outcomes when they have access to affordable housing.

The partnership was developed by Babson alumnus Rich Greif, who now works as Big Brothers Big Sisters Massachusetts Bay’s marketing and community relations vice president. 

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