What We Do

South Street Youth Center programs support intellectual, creative, and social development at all grade levels:

Monday-Thursday 4:30-5:30pm during the school year for children from 1st-6th grade.

ssy-group-photo-small-6 A fun and safe space for kids to engage in creative play, make art, and get their homework done with the help of supportive volunteers and staff. A few of our many enrichment activities:
  • Gym and pool time at Curtis Hall
  • Visual Arts Program with Cooperative Arts Institute of Jamaica Plain
  • Girl Scouts
  • Structured games, performance arts preparation, and walks to neighborhood parks¬†run by staff and teen peer mentors

Monday-Thursday 5:30-6:30pm during the school year for children from 1st-12th grade.

A space for kids and teens to complete their homework done with the help of supportive volunteers and staff. Including available time for kids to receive extra support with reading and math.  
  • An average minimum of five adult volunteers per day
  • Youth earn computer time each day they have homework checked at the youth center or read for at least 20min. with a volunteer
  • Double-checking system has been developed to ensure that homework is going home completed and correct
  • Older teens also use this time to fulfill service hours by assisting younger youth with homework

Monday- Wednesday 6:30-7:30 during the school year for youth from 6th grade and up

A drop-in space for teens to come after school and work. This is a time for workshops and to socialize with their peers as well as to build relationships with trusted adult and teen staff.

Teen time helps participants navigate the complex challenges of teen development and promote safe and healthy decision making and self-determination. We empower our teen staff to lead: they organize activities, facilitate discussions, and are responsible to ensure that the program runs well each day.

Additionally, Teens have a quiet space for homework and academic support Monday-Thursday 5:30-6:30pm. Some of the many ways we support teens:


  • Education: Homework Assistance, help with Boston Public High Schools applications, assistance with college enrollment process, GED support if needed
  • Employment: Help with resume writing and employment searches on-line and in the community
  • Leadership, Personal Development, and Community Building:
    • Teen-led workshops and discussions on a variety of topics including self-esteem, racial justice, gender equality, sexual health, violence and many others.
    • Field Trips to see community organizations and elected officials and develop an understanding of how to work in and contribute to a thriving community.
    • One to One staff Supports: Teens are encouraged to seekout staff to talk about tough decisions or problems with friends or family, sexual health concerns, reactions to violence, and responding to unjust treatment of youth by authority figures.

2016-02-04 18.14.33-2Initiated in 2009, the Youth Leadership Program employs middle and high school aged youth to engage in leadership training based on a positive youth development framework and to staff the After-School and Teen Time Programs. Structured exercises in team-building, communication skills, conflict resolution, and job preparation begin in summer and continue throughout the school year.

Youth Leaders gain meaningful work experience and learn how to exchange constructive feedback with peers and staff. Youth leadership is a key element in the vibrancy of all South Street Youth Center programs.

Our Youth Leader teams are:

  • Colossal Peace Crew A team of four middle school students who work in the after-school program, coordinating homework help, games, and activities under the supervision of adult staff. The internship allows youth to develop excellent work skills and It increases their ability to find and retain employment in high school and beyond. Colossal Peace Crew members learn:
    • To be leaders and to create space for others to be leaders.
    • To be responsible and accountable to their co-workers and supervisors.
    • To balance work, school and social life.
    • To work productively alone and in groups.
    • To be a role model
  • Peer Leaders: A team of 2-4 high school youth who run the teen program. They build upon the skills learned in the Colossal Peace Crew and determine the structure of teen time, with adult staff guidance. Peer leaders continue to learn and develop new skills:
    • Public speaking and community outreach
    • Creating and evaluating programs
    • Critical thinking: understanding the personal and community impact of racial and gender injustice
    • Supporting co-workers to achieve success
    • Lift-Up/Reach-Back