There were once eight people in the Boston neighborhood of Historic Dorchester when it was founded in 1630. This small group of Puritans were key figures in the founding of the nation. Dorchester, too, carried it’s significance and continued on to become Boston’s largest and most populous neighborhood, spanning six square miles and producing a long list of famous US citizens- famous Americans such as Puritan minister Increase Mather, Parents of Robert and Teddy, Joseph and Rose Kennedy, Star Trek’s Leonard Nimoy, actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, and the iconic pop group, New Kids on the Block. And, of course, close to Boy With a Ball’s heart, Martin Luther King, Jr. lived in Dorchester while earning his doctorate at Boston University.
Today, Dorchester is home to 114,235 residents with 15,530 of them being under the age of eighteen. Of all those people, 63% of the community live in rental units and the overall crime rate is 30% higher than the national average. Heartbreakingly, poverty affects 23.5% of the Dorchester households which shape an extremely diverse neighborhood with a large population of immigrants.
Boy With a Ball was invited by Tocci Building Company’s John and Lila Tocci and Covenant Church of Arlington’s Pastor Brian Emmet to explore the possibility of establishing a local Boy With a Ball team in Boston in October of 2015. The trip included meetings with State Representative Sonia Chang-Diaz’s staff, an evening informational mixer for local business people and other meetings aimed at gauging interest in BWAB making way to Boston. A fruitful trip, we began creating a strong list of connections and finding truth in the idea that Boy With a Ball might launch in Dorchester.
Within a few months, seed money for establishing Boy With a Ball Boston was donated by a group of Bostonians and a plan was designed for sending Boy With a Ball Global’s Pete and Christine Emmet to spend the month of July in the city to further the effort. Helped greatly by Covenant Church of Arlington (CCA) leaders, by the Toccis and by Jamie Bush, the trip opened the doors to developing a strong foundation of friends, potential investors, team members, and volunteers. By the end of the month, Boy With a Ball’s global board of directors approved the organization’s launching into Dorchester.
Boy With a Ball invited David Nok Daniel into the organization’s four-month Leaders In Development process (LID) in an effort to help select a City Director for the local team. David traveled to Boy With a Ball’s Atlanta-based headquarters in February of 2017 to participate in a two-week, intensive training internship. In March, David will turn to recruiting funders, local team members, board members, corporate advisory board members and volunteers to prepare for launching programming later in the Spring.
Boy With a Ball Boston hopes to begin by launching BWAB’s Velocity Cross Age Mentoring Drop-out Prevention Program at a Dorchester high school and middle school and BWAB’s Love Your City Community Development Program in the community.
If you or someone you know would be interested in joining Boy With a Ball Boston’s efforts as a funder, team member, board member, volunteer, corporate advisory board member or as a community champion, please contact David Daniel through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.