In 2011, PBHA developed Middle Up, a model of programming to support educational enrichment, service learning, and college access for middle school students in SUP. Academic enrichment and service learning were concentrated in programs serving students six to 13 while college access was focused in the Leaders! Program for ages 15-18.
SUP has always had a programmatic gap – there was no formal programming for rising ninth graders (13-14-year-olds). It is for that reason that SUP created the Junior Leaders in Communities Program (JLinC). This program recruits one to two rising ninth graders from each of the 10 camps, totaling to 14-20 students. It runs during SUP and is supervised by two college directors and the individual camp directors. Programming consists of SUP camp site visits, half and full day field trips, project-based learning, and workshops.
The vision and long-term goals for JLinc are:
1) Create sustainable programming for rising ninth graders who have aged out of SUP that meets their developmental needs in four areas while increasing their sense of autonomy, competence, and relationships.
Academics: continue to stem students’ summer learning loss as part of SUP’s mission.
Social: create a social space for a cohort of youth who are the same age.
Personal: encourage students to think about their own goals for the future.
Professional: college readiness and job shadowing for future-focused visioning.
2) Provide an inclusive, safe, and fun space for rising ninth graders to learn with peers from different neighborhoods in Boston and Cambridge, while maintaining connections to their original SUP camps a few hours a week.