Somerville, Massachusetts

 

Overview

The City of Somerville’s commitment to making youth a priority through a variety of educational and collaborative programs help secure its third 100 Best win in 2011. Somerville’s Summer Jobs Program places youth in positions in local government and businesses, while the SomerPromise initiative helps youth reach their greatest potential through careful evaluation of gaps and barriers to success in several key areas including academics, and health and wellness. Additionally, Somerville High School offers free PSAT testing and SAT preparation as well as a peer tutoring program. The high school also partners with community organizations to participate in College Goal Sunday, which organizes free college financial aid form clinics.

Community Programs

  • Somerville has dedicated one-third of its municipal budget to youth-related activities, including programs run by public schools or youth departments, facility improvements, and placing youth in a Summer Jobs Program.
  • Somerville youth with special education needs have access to alternative therapeutic junior and senior high schools, where they are offered alternative pathways to finish school and prepare for college or the workforce.
  • Somerville partnered with Tufts and Harvard Universities in 2009 as well as other agencies and organizations to launch the SomerPromise initiative, which aims to ensure every child achieves their greatest potential.
  • Somerville High School and community partners collaborate to participate in College Goal Sunday, which organizes free college financial aid form clinics; the high school also offers free PSAT testing and SAT preparation.
  • A peer tutoring program at Somerville High School has matched over 80 students with classmates in need of tutoring over the last year and is currently being incorporated as a 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.

Youth Voices

Being a new student in a new country, I thought that adjusting to a new environment with a new language would be too challenging. However, the support that I got at Somerville High, through guidance counselors and teachers helped me transition into a new culture and immerse myself in Somerville.

—Enxhi 

I have been in clubs, classes, and sports with people from different socioeconomic, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. As a result, I developed different outlooks for approaching whatever task I am facing.

—Molly