BOSTON, June 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, forty-six at-risk youth, 11-14 years old, became the first graduating class of EPIC: Enhancing Potential, Inspiring Change. The program was developed to address a need identified by Mayor Walsh for providing a positive experience for youth in the age group 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, participants began last June attending a summer program at BGCB's Mattapan Teen Center as well as Camp Harbor View, 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.
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.
Aaliyah Colon, a 14 year-old from Mattapan, spoke at the graduation, explaining what the program had meant to her. "It was a commitment I had to make to better myself and my future…an opportunity to tap into my full success and get prepared for the real world. One day, I would love to be a leader for my community and everyone around me because I know that as many times as I will fail, I will always pick myself back up and still have the motivation to be on top," said Colon.
"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, Public Safety Initiatives. "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 of our partnership with the Mayor's Office of Public Safety and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston's YouthConnect and congratulate the first cohort to complete the 12-month intensive program," said Tom Crohan, assistant vice president and counsel, John Hancock. "Through the best-in-class community-based services delivered by YouthConnect, we strive to empower students to realize their potential through a curriculum focused on cultivating leadership and forming connections during a time of change and transition."
In partnership with the Mayor's Office of Public Safety and John Hancock, BGCB's Youth Connect 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.
About John Hancock Financial and Manulife
John Hancock Financial is a division of Manulife, a leading Canada-based financial services group with principal operations in Asia, Canada and the United States. Operating as Manulife in Canada and Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, our group of companies offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Assets under management and administration by Manulife and its subsidiaries were $904 billion (US $697 billion) as at March 31, 2016. Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife ca be found on the Internet at Manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, though its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers and administers a broad range of financial products, including life insurance, annuities, investments, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at johnhancock.com.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston
Since its founding in 1893, Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGBC) has been helping young people, especially those who need us most, build strong character and realize their full potential as responsible citizens and leaders. BGBC does this by providing: a safe have filled with hope and opportunity, ongoing relationships with caring adults, and life-enhancing programs in six core program areas. The organization serves nearly 16,000 young people ages 6-18 in 11 Clubs, and through Camp Harbor View and YouthConnect. BGCB is an affiliate of Boys & Girls Clubs of American and The United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. For more information, visit BGCB on the web at bgcb.org.
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SOURCE John Hancock Financial