Mayor Menino Launches Circle of Promise and LIFT-Boston Partnership to Move Families Forward

By LIFT on June 23, 2011

Categories: Our Work

Today, Mayor Thomas M. Menino, in recognition of LIFT-Boston’s partnership with The Circle of Promise, officially launched a new center for families of Boston Public School (BPS) students and neighborhood residents to access vital resources. Located at the Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) Vine Street Community Center in Roxbury, The Circle of Promise/LIFT-Boston Center is a continuation of the “comprehensive community integration plan” that Mayor Menino implemented early in 2010, with the BPS and community partners “to transform public education in Boston.”

The strategy is to bring the BPS and community partners like LIFT-Boston together to best serve young people and their families with place based supports to boost student achievement and expand opportunity for all residents.

“LIFT and the City both recognize the impact of a strong, stable family on a student’s academic performance,” Mayor Menino said. “So I’m pleased to announce this new partnership between the Circle of Promise and LIFT so we can strengthen our comprehensive services and place an additional 1,000 Boston families on a path out of poverty this year. Understanding that stable income, housing, health and nutrition, childcare and education are all interconnected needs, our goal is to provide families with coordinated and comprehensive ‘wrap-around’ services that ensure children and families are supported in reaching their full potential.

The Circle of Promise, is a five mile geographic area in the heart of the City of Boston which focuses on improving the economic and educational well-being of the families of children enrolled in the city’s most challenged schools. This is an innovative, focused, and intentional strategy to work with parents who are finding it difficult to make ends meet by addressing individual family needs and facilitating access to Boston’s wealth of community based agencies, faith based institutions, colleges and universities, and strong public and private sector organizations. The goal is to provide families with the support and services needed to gain financial security in order for children to attain high academic achievement unabated.

A lead partner for the City of Boston’s Circle of Promise, LIFT-Boston, a local anti-poverty non-profit that opens its doors to anyone in need, has already helped over 200 individuals and families from Boston area neighborhoods through referrals from more than 20 organizations including the Boston Public Schools. Establishment of the new office within the Roxbury community was made possible by the City of Boston and has the capacity to support over 1,000 families annually. Working within the Circle of Promise to move families forward, LIFT-Boston will connect families to and help them navigate through the wealth of resources and assets in the city.

“It’s going back to a basic concept that if parents are stable and can create a stable home environment, things like food, shelter and living wages, children will have a better opportunity to thrive because parents will have greater bandwidth to focus and support their children. We are honored to be partnering with Mayor Menino and the Boston Public Schools in this critical strategy and initiative to better student achievement and ensure future opportunities for Boston’s youth and families,” said Maicharia Weir Lytle, Executive Director of LIFT-Boston.

Utilizing its unique service model, LIFT-Boston has recruited and trained college students from neighboring Northeastern University and Lesley College as client advocates to work one-on-one with families to find jobs, secure safe and stable housing, access public benefits, and obtain referrals to crucial services like healthcare, nutritional and clothing assistance, and education and training programs.

Also joining the Mayor and LIFT at the Center’s official launch event and reception will be actor S. Epatha Merkerson, well-known for her long running role as Lt. Anita Van Buren on the hit series “Law and Order”, Marie St. Fleur, Chief of Advocacy and Strategic Investment for the City of Boston, Mary Ann Crayton, Executive Director of Community Engagement & Circle of Promise, Boston Public Schools, along with families of BPS students, community members, Circle of Promise Liaisons, Boston Public Schools’ Family Engagement Coordinators, community, civic and philanthropic leaders, local business owners, and LIFT-Boston student volunteers, Board members and staff.

The CoP/LIFT-Boston Office is located at 339 Dudley Street in Roxbury, in the ground level of the BCYF Vine Street Community Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call: (617) 427-1155 or email


Established by Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Circle of Promise is a school-based and place-based strategy that focuses on high student achievement as a means toward creating sustainable wealth and opportunity within the community. The Circle of Promise engages a City liaison at each of Boston Public Schools’ 12 “turnaround schools” to identify and support children with the greatest need. Working with the school’s Family Engagement Coordinators, the Circle of Promise liaisons connect parents to LIFT-Boston to receive guidance for employment, housing, income maximization, as well as connections to other vital resources and services.

LIFT-Boston is a local nonprofit dedicated to combating poverty and expanding opportunity for all people in the Greater Boston area. LIFT-Boston engages trained volunteers to serve low-income individuals and families and works with more than 1,000 clients annually.

Link to original press release from Mayor’s Office

For Immediate Release
June 23, 2011
Released By:
Mayor’s Office
For More Information Contact:
Mayor’s Press Office