A few years ago, Sean Regan, currently the Principal Administrator to the Chief of the Department of Public Works, had the idea to create a program in South Boston that would help to develop the youth with an emphasis on education and fitness. South Boston had been changing and participation in youth programs had fallen off in recent years, mostly due to the sheer number of kids that live there compared to ten and twenty years ago. In the changing neighborhood community, it was apparent now more than ever, that the youth of South Boston had to have as many avenues to success as possible.
A group of local South Boston residents joined Sean in his endeavor and the South Boston Leadership Initiative was formed. With the help of State Representative Nick Collins, the program began to gain some traction and programs and workshops began to develop. The idea was to have an organization that was diverse, while being able to conduct it’s own programs and also, partner with existing organizations in the community who had similar goals. It was important for the Leadership Initiative to help supplement established nonprofits, and not replace them. Along with reaching out to those organizations, the thought was to reach out to local youth sports programs to offer any assistance that could help develop the youth of South Boston.
Community based athletics teach kids leadership, team building, and commitment. However, there is often a disconnect between the expectations on the field of play and application to everyday life. By partnering with athletic leagues, the Leadership Initiative helps build programs that connect athletic success to lifelong success. They work with community athletic leagues to provide academic support and off-season training to members of their programs. The leagues work with them by establishing minimum program participation levels for all of their athletes, encouraging their coaches to volunteer in the academic programs, and developing a culture in which succeeding in every aspect of life is more important than just winning.
The educational and fitness programs, such as Math Olympics, Social Media Training, and Strength and Conditioning, will revolve around the idea that the participants will be more well rounded in the end. Additionally, through an exposure to careers and opportunities that they otherwise did not know existed, the Leadership Initiative will help South Boston kids emerge successful. Through the course of this process the participants will work toward a personal goal. This is the part where the Leadership Initiative really hopes to thrive. The reason that the Leadership Initiative is unique is believed to be their strongest attribute. They are each using their own networks of well established people in South Boston to help in any way, shape, or form, for the development of the participants. The Leadership Initiative recognizes and reaches out to people who currently live in the community that are successful, willing to help, and someone considered to be a good representative of what a South Bostonian is and should be. By leveraging their own networks, the Leadership Initiative hopes to help each participant of their programs to create their own personal networks to lead to a successful life.