PBHA auction supports affordable, enriching experience for local youth

3 min read

The 15th Annual Summer Urban Program (SUP) Auction raises funds for PBHA’s Summer Urban Program (SUP). SUP began in 1980 and serves about 900 urban elementary, middle, and high school students in its seven-week programs in Boston and Cambridge. The summer program has 11 summer day camp sites and provides an evening program to teach English as a second language to immigrant and refugee teens. PBHA’s Boston Refugee Youth Enrichment and Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment both target low-English-proficiency students and have been recognized by Boston Public Schools as alternatives to summer school. All participants come from neighborhoods affected by poverty and violence in Cambridge, Chinatown, South Boston, Dorchester, Mission Hill, Roxbury, and the South End. About 95 percent of participants are eligible for free or reduced priced lunches.

Every year, the Auction honors community leaders for their investment in the lives of Cambridge and Boston families through the SUP Impact Awards. Horace Small, founder of the Union of Minority Neighborhoods (UMN), and the Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust (MHFNT), will be honored this year. The auction, which will take place at Harvard University’s Knafel Center on April 19, raises money for PBHA’s award-winning summer camps for low-income families.

Horace Small is the founder and executive director of the UMN, a Boston-based community organization founded in 2002 to increase activism, empowerment, and opportunity in communities of color. UMN’s efforts are designed to strengthen democracy and rebuild communities of color, where the pernicious effects of discrimination continue to exist as barriers to equal opportunity, through skills training and organizing. Since 1974, Small has gained a reputation as one of the savviest organizers in the country and has done trainings and workshops for the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus, the American Bar Association, the AFL-CIO, the Blackfoot Nation, the Council of State Governments, and the State of California.

The Mission Hill / Fenway Neighborhood Trust, Inc. was established in 1995 to administer and operate a fund that gives grants to community-based Mission Hill and Fenway non-profit organizations, community development corporations, and other civic groups dedicated to promoting and enhancing quality of life in the community through projects and programs for residents in the arts and education, youth sports and recreation, activities for seniors, community gardens, affordable housing, social services, and whatever the board of MHFNT deems appropriate. Since 2001, the board has distributed grant awards that have included PBHA’s Mission Hill Summer Program.

SUP employs 130 college students who direct and staff all of the summer camps. This involves planning field trips, teaching a classroom of 10 students, fundraising, and managing parent and community relationships.

You can RSVP to the 15th Annual SUP Auction by visiting the Phillips Brooks House Association’s website and clicking on the “SUP Auction” Event Page for more information.