Waltham, MA Rockland Trust Charitable Foundation has presented a $75,000 grant to More Than Words (MTW). MTW is a social enterprise that empowers young adults ages 16-24 who are court-involved, in the foster care system, out-of-school, or experiencing homelessness to take charge of their lives.
This grant will provide operational support for the organization’s youth development and job training program which serves over 300 individuals annually in the Greater Boston area. MTW focuses on providing the personal and professional development that these individuals need to set goals, find stability in housing and other areas of their life, persist in entry-level jobs after MTW, earn credentials, and access the pathway or middle-skill careers that are the first rung on the ladder of opportunity.
“The Foundation is honored to support More than Words’ programs which enable young adults in greater Boston to flourish through innovative programming,” said Andrea Borowiecki, vice president of charitable giving and community engagement at Rockland Trust. “Their work fosters motivation and empowerment in at-risk youth, helps them achieve personal and professional goals and leads them on the path to long-term stability.”
“Working here I’ve learned how much I am capable of. Typical goals for a shift are 5000 books for scanning, 2,000 books for receiving, and shipping and packing are always different based on the number of orders for the day, but is usually a couple hundred. People who come to visit are always shocked to see our daily goals,” said Nick, a MTW graduate. “I think people have a different idea of what we do here when they hear ‘youth-run business’, but we have big business goals and bring in millions each year. When people come in and actually see us, they get the idea that this is a real job with real responsibilities. And it’s a lot of work.”
MTW’s job training programming offers participants paid employment for 20 hours each week, running every aspect of a bookstore. This includes leading shifts, developing marketing strategies, creating goals, evaluating their own and their peers’ performance daily, using data in performance reviews and directing their progress through the program. Graduates receive two years of proactive support in pursuing jobs and education through MTW’s Career Services program.