LIFT-Boston and Mayor Menino Host Ribbon Cutting for New Roxbury Center and Launch of the Circle of Promise

By LIFT on June 24, 2011

Categories: Events, Our Work

On June 23rd, LIFT and Mayor Menino hosted community members from across Boston to officially launch the opening of LIFT-Boston’s newest center in Roxbury as part of the City of Boston’s Circle of Promise initiative.  Recognizing the impact of a strong, stable family on a student’s academic performance and emotional well-being, the Circle of Promise and LIFT-Boston will work to provide comprehensive wraparound social services to the parents of children in targeted Boston Public Schools. Through this innovative partnership, LIFT-Boston’s Roxbury center has already served nearly 300 individuals and families to secure employment, stable housing and public benefits, and connect to other social services for healthcare, childcare and food assistance.

In his remarks to the 170 guests in attendance, Mayor Menino thanked LIFT for the assistance already provided to families in Boston and announced that through the Circle of Promise and the City of Boston’s partnership with LIFT-Boston, we will work with 1,000 families to chart a path out of poverty this year.  He also reiterated that the 100+ non-profits in the city must work together to “make sure young people have [that] opportunity as they start life.”

Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment for the City of Boston, thanked the Mayor and Superintendent of Boston Public Schools, Dr. Carol Johnson, for their collective visions and emphasized, “The Circle of Promise is an initiative of collaboration and cooperation to make certain that those resources are aligned to help families realize their dreams.”  Special guest and critically acclaimed actress S. Epatha Merkerson concluded the program with the message: “When you lift the spirit of people by giving them knowledge, when you lift the spirit of people by sharing resources—there is nothing these children can’t do, that their families can’t do for them.”

Among the guests in attendance were City Councilor Tito Jackson; Mary Ann Crayton, Executive Director, Community Engagement and Circle of Promise, Boston Public Schools; Aldalberto Teixeira, Deputy, Office of Human Services, Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF); David Hinton, Cluster Administrator, Boston Centers for Youth and Families; Robert Gittens, VP of Public Affairs for Northeastern University, many LIFT clients and local neighborhood families, LIFT volunteers and supporters, community and university partners, leaders of local businesses and philanthropic foundations, LIFT National Staff and Regional Staff and LIFT-Boston’s Regional Board.

In the weeks following the event, LIFT-Boston has received over 50 new family referrals.  We have also been fortunate to have local media spotlight our work with the Circle of Promise including The Boston Globe,  the Weekly Dig, and Neighborhood Network News.

We also gratefully acknowledge the generous sponsors and in-kind donors of our launch event:  Northeastern University (event sponsorship), Bank of America (volunteer painting of new LIFT center), Be Our Guest, Inc. (linens and tables), Boston Centers for Youth and Families (banners for office), Chiarella Designs, (event printed materials and visuals), Elliot Haney Photography, Innovative Resource Group (printing of event materials and visuals), Kevin Lawyer (DJ and A/V), Veronica Wells (videography), and the Vine Street Community Center (event space and general event support).