We value our young people, low-income and working class families, and leaders who are more transformative than transactional.
PROGRAMS & PROJECTS.
Youth Innovation Center
Our vision is that all youth in North Central Massachusetts grow up to achieve economic stability, career success, and personal fulfillment while taking an active role in their community. We believe if we provide access to resources that enable exploration and learning, youth can uncover what motivates them to succeed.
Youth Leadership Board
The executive board of this space will have a by-youth-for-youth model where young people will have access to leadership training & workshops as well as oversee programs and activities in the space.
Racial Equity & Social Justice
At the core of our work is bringing racial equity to the forefront of all activities. Through awareness, education and hands-on engagement in building solutions to institutional and systemic racism for generations to come.
Media Maker Lab
This lab will open access pathways for youth and young adults in Fitchburg to explore their interests in everything from podcasting to developing virtual reality experiences. Equipment at the ready with access to tools that guide and support learning, the Media Maker Lab will help our students compete in a tech-centric economy.
Physical to Digital Art Studio
Creative expression through art leads to new innovations, celebrates culture, and creates opportunities for young people to uncover their passions. From physical mediums like painting, clay sculpture, and illustration to bringing that art into the digital world through graphic design, 3D printing, and more, students will have resources at their fingertips to truly explore, create, and discover.
Life Coaching & Mentorship
Tapping into one's passions and charting a path for your future career is overwhelming. Youth and young adults often are not provided the resources or mentorship to learn about the different types of industries and job roles that intersect with their interests — our space will connect youth to mentors focused on helping them realize their aspirations.
Financial Empowerment Center
Chronic financial instability imposes high degrees of day-to-day stress and limits low-income individuals and families the ability
to save, and invest. Our Financial Empowerment program is unique in that most traditional models of financial education and planning focus on long-term wealth creation, but families with low-incomes typically wrestle with a number of underlying stability issues that must be addressed first. Our Financial Empowerment Coaches receive specialized training to recognize and address these priority issues as both critical and the right step toward longer-term planning.
A multi-generational and culturally responsive approach to building wealth and power by and for low income communities of color. More specifically empowerment economics builds on and affirms the inherent capabilities of communities of color to cultivate wealth through their own distinctive cultural practices including the strategy of multi-generational living and resources sharing. At the same time, this approach seeks to build power and enhance the political voice and efficacy of communities of color by engaging people in policy and systems change work.
Our Financial Empowerment approach to financial coaching is one that conveys personalized education to directly and measurably improve a participant’s unique financial situation. The model relies on a comprehensive financial health assessment that allows coaches to develop customized service plans to help participant’s achieve tangible milestones along their paths to achieving their short-and long-term goals for financial stability and growth. Coaches also complete a second financial health assessment three to five months after the initial participant visit.
Curriculum That Works
Empowerment Coaches are trained using an integrated 45 hour curriculum that includes material from The City University of New York (CUNY) Consumer and Personal Finance program, Brandeis University’s Institute on Assets and Social Policy’s (IASP) Economic Empowerment
concept, and the Change Machine financial coaching support platform developed by The Financial Clinic.