Urban Engagement Program

The Social Enter­prise Institute’s urban engage­ment ini­tia­tive part­ners with local mid­dle schools through the Cit­i­zens Schools Appren­tice­ship Program.

Our SE stu­dents serve as men­tors for mid­dle and ele­men­tary school stu­dents enrolled in the Boston Pub­lic School sys­tem by work­ing with “Appren­tices” (mid­dle school stu­dents) once a week in an after school pro­gram designed around teach­ing and men­tor­ing Appren­tices in the areas of social entre­pre­neur­ship, small busi­ness man­age­ment, micro-finance, poverty around the world and micro-enterprise development.

What do we do?

This ten week pro­gram enables Appren­tices to also develop their own small busi­ness, which may include the sales of beaded jew­elry or other ‘enter­pris­ing’ ideas, ini­ti­ated by the Appren­tices them­selves. Sales from their busi­nesses go towards the cre­ation of micro-finance loans for entre­pre­neurs in devel­op­ing coun­tries, at the Appren­tices own choos­ing through Kiva.org and Grameen America’s U initiative.

Why do we do it?

The Insti­tute rec­og­nizes the impor­tance of after school pro­grams for urban youth as Cit­i­zens Schools lon­gi­tu­di­nal stud­ies show that more than 50% of 12 year olds come home to an empty house and that the peri­ods from 3-6PM serve as a crit­i­cal time for ado­les­cent devel­op­ment. Sim­i­larly, stud­ies also show that stu­dents that par­tic­i­pate in after school activ­i­ties are more likely to grad­u­ate high school on time and are more likely to pur­sue ter­tiary education.

Work­ing with the mid­dle school chil­dren at Hyde Park has been great in allow­ing me to con­tinue my work in the field of com­mu­nity devel­op­ment.  Help­ing stu­dents start their own busi­nesses and use the prof­its to invest in social causes, like a micro loan for an entre­pre­neur in a devel­op­ing coun­try, gave the stu­dents an oppor­tu­nity to learn about busi­ness and entre­pre­neur­ship at key stage in their aca­d­e­mic development.”

Hillary Gras, Class of 2011, CBA Finance

For more information

For more infor­ma­tion about Cit­i­zen Schools, please visit www.citizenschools.org

For more infor­ma­tion on how you can vol­un­teer to men­tor urban youth at local mid­dle schools through the Institute’s Urban Engage­ment Ini­tia­tive, please con­tact SEI at sei@neu.edu We will send you a link to the Cit­i­zens Schools Pro­gram Vol­un­teer Application.

Check out our volunteer blog: http://seicitizenschools.wordpress.com/