50 Graduates of Year-Long EPIC Program Find Increased Self-Awareness

Collaboration among the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, John Hancock and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston addresses growing City need

BOSTON, MA – (May 26, 2017) Earlier this week, fifty 11-14 year-olds graduated from EPIC: Enhancing Potential, Inspiring Change, a program developed with the aim of increasing self-awareness and confidence in at-risk youth during what can be a difficult time of transition and change.

Through the program, a collaboration among the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety, John Hancock and Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s YouthConnect, the 2017 graduates began attending a summer program at BGCB’s Mattapan Teen Center as well as Camp Harbor View in 2016, then participated in small group workshops during the academic year on topics including leadership, financial awareness, career exploration, community and workplace safety, decision making skills, communication skills, and health & wellness.

“Thank you for the great opportunity at EPIC,” said Yaumaris Patrone, a 14-year old eighth grader at the Curley School. “I am grateful to have this opportunity with EPIC which has taught me leadership skills and helped me realize that it’s important to learn and grow from my mistakes.” Patrone added that she thought the skills learned in EPIC would be helpful for her when she starts high school in the fall.

Participants also had ongoing case management, which was extended to their immediate family, as well as afterschool programming at a local BGCB Club. In addition, participants are able to earn a stipend (up to $800) over the course of the program for positive participation and attendance.

“Mayor Walsh congratulates John Hancock’s commitment for continuing its innovative thinking, partnerships and willingness to help young people at this most pivotal age,” said Dan Mulhern, Director, Mayor’s Office of Public Safety. “Boston will see the impact of EPIC in dividends for years to come, and we, the City, could not think of a better partner for this than YouthConnect and its incredibly qualified staff.”

“The EPIC program shows how innovative thinking and collaboration with great partners like these can really make a difference in the lives of the children we serve,” said Josh Kraft, Nicholas President and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. “Over the course of the last year, these young people have increased their self-awareness, gained confidence and become true leaders in their schools and communities.”

“We are proud to partner with the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston’s YouthConnect, and congratulate all of today’s EPIC graduates,” said Tom Crohan, Assistant Vice President and Counsel, John Hancock. “We believe in these students, and we look forward to seeing what they will accomplish in the years ahead.”

About EPIC
In partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Public Safety and John Hancock, BGCB’s YouthConnect has launched a 12 month, intensive program which aims to increase self-awareness and confidence in youth 11-14 years old. EPIC: Enhancing Potential, Inspiring Change, empowers youth to realize their potential through a curriculum focused on cultivating leadership and forming connections during a time of change and transition. EPIC instills confidence and hope for the future in young teens, directly addressing a growing need in our city, as identified by Mayor Walsh.