South Boston Outreach Summer (SBOS) began in 1989 when Theresa Finn, a Harvard student who had grown up in South Boston, founded an adult tutoring program for mothers. She had volunteered at Julie’s Family Learning Program, a neighborhood-based family support and education program, when she realized that more programming was needed, particularly during the summer. She turned to Suzanne Panico, another Harvard student from South Boston, to create a summer program that would allow the women being tutored to attend full-time programming by alleviating the need for day care during summer vacation. Since its founding, SBOS has provided a continuum of service to the residents in and around South Boston’s three public housing developments: Mary Ellen McCormack, Old Colony, and West Broadway.
SBOS strives to empower youth through hands-on enrichment activities that emphasize academic confidence, conflict resolution, interdependence, prevention of risk-taking behaviors, and respect for diversity. The program places a significant focus on curricula that utilize substance abuse prevention and service-learning to support the academic achievement and positive youth development of our campers and combat historically widespread issues endured by the South Boston community.