YouthConnect Worcester provides high quality, year round, neighborhood-based youth development opportunities for recreation, education and culture to isolated and underserved Worcester youth age 5-24 (focusing on the middle school years) who reside in Worcester’s most at risk neighborhoods. We do this through the establishment of a seamless, inclusive youth-serving consortium, modeled on best practice, utilizing a common system of measures to drive efficient use of resources for impact, and built on a framework that delivers positive outcomes in the areas of health, education, and family stability. Partners include: Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Friendly House, Girls Inc. of Worcester, YMCA of Central MA, Y.O.U. Inc., YWCA of Central MA, and Worcester Youth Center. Building a high degree of trust, they learn from, share with, and support each other.
YouthConnect aligns closely with the five domains within the Greater Worcester Region Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) providing physical activity and nutrition education (Domain I), embedded mental health services (Domain II), preventive support (Domain III), violence prevention (Domain IV) and participation in activities to eliminate racism and impact health disparities (Domain V).
Each partner brings their particular expertise to the table combined with the collective power of the consortium. We also utilize supports from a widening circle of supporting partners providing expertise to fill identified gaps in services including: mental, physical, and sexual health, college & work readiness, risk behavior & violence prevention, civic engagement & peer leadership, LGBT resources, food & shelter, funding and others.