Based on a promise to do more for the kids of Brookline we started an amazing journey. With nothing but a dream, we were able to create a community safe space filled with opportunities for youth of all backgrounds. Since day one, we have been funded solely through self-conducted fundraisers and the support of generous donors.
In less than two years, we were able to purchase our space at 520 Brookline Blvd. and transform it into a community space that serves many needs within the community. Since 2017 we’ve grown our programming from social programming and tutoring to include specialized workshops in acting, podcasting, sustainability and college readiness/financial aid and other academic programming. We have also developed a thriving art program, computer lab, STEM program, and offer cooking and other life skills classes. In addition, a partnership with 412 Food Rescue allows us to provide after-school snacks and home-cooked dinners to our students every day. We are also able to use this connection to support our local food bank, meals on wheels and free weekly community meals.
So what makes BTO different? At Brookline Teen Outreach, we provide trauma-informed care to teens in a way that fosters safety, healthy relationships, and empowers students to achieve their potential. Many of the teens that attend BTO have come from difficult places. Whether it’s abuse, neglect, relational conflict, or other forms of trauma – we make it our goal to meet each teen where they are. At BTO, we believe in approaching each teen from an individualized, empowering, and trauma-informed perspective. We provide them with a safe space where they can be heard, practice using their voice, and develop their skills. This method is effective for all students, even those that come from healthy stable environments, because everyone flourishes in spaces where they feel respected, seen, and valued.
Here every behavior is a form of communication, and every encounter can be a therapeutic encounter. Therefore, we make it a point to see the need behind the behaviors. Many teens have the need for connection, safety, and learning healthy ways to cope with the hard things that are going on in their lives. We then take these needs that we see in the space and create innovative programming that serves the various needs of each of the teens. BTO fosters an environment where teens can form healthy relationships with their peers and caring staff members. Everywhere you turn, teens are engaging with one another. They are learning more about themselves, how to recognize and communicate their needs, and problem solve in relationships. From the smallest encounters to the largest, positive connections are being made.
Many of these moments are the ones that have been compiled to create positive and powerful experiences for the teens at BTO. They build their resilience, develop self-esteem, learn healthy communication skills, develop and maintain positive relationships, and move forward toward the goals they have for themselves. Their lives are transformed, and they often go forth to transform their families, schools, and communities. From a place of connection and safety, the lives of teens and the people in their spheres of influence are changed forever.
Our ability to provide so much is dependent on the generosity of individuals, small businesses, and corporations. Without monetary support, we would not be able to provide all of our services free of charge to the youth we serve. This key feature of our programming ensures that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, has the same opportunities.
This is where you come in. Will you help to support a community organization dedicated to improving the lives of youth ages 10-18? Can you contribute to improving the lives of more than 100 students each week?
Here are just a few ways your dollars go to work at Brookline Teen Outreach:
$250 – Will provide 10 youth with backpacks and school supplies
$100 – Will supply snacks to all students for one week
$60 – Will sponsor 5 kids to go on a hike that could not afford to go otherwise
$20 – Will provide art supplies for one month
Give what you can; no donation is too small because every dollar you give goes directly toward our programming.
Your dollars can go even further by becoming a monthly sustaining donor at $10, $20, or $30 a month.
Click here for more information.
Gifts in kind: Have a gaming system, pool table, or art supplies you don’t need? Do you have a special talent that teens would love to learn? Become a volunteer ! Would you be willing to volunteer to help with minor repairs? Can you connect us to someone we should know? These are all ways to help expand our community without giving money, and we are always grateful for them.