This summer, 20 teens from Allston Brighton were part of the Harvard Allston Summer Corps (HASC). Since 2009, Harvard University, in partnership with the City of Boston, has sponsored the six-week HASC program. This program provides summer employment for twenty teens from Allston Brighton at local nonprofits which have included the West End House Boys and Girls Club, Oak Square YMCA, Commonwealth Tenants, Honan-Allston Library, Jackson Mann Community Center and Tenacity.
An especially important part of this program are the weekly enrichment activities where the HASC students gather for conversations that have included topics such as financial literacy, career planning, the college admissions process, new media, community planning and an opportunity to meet with professionals in various fields. This year, teens discussed career planning, career exploration and how to research jobs and career paths that relate to your interests. Beverly Bass and Judy Vance from Harvard University, and Elyce Sweeney and Emily Coles with the Boston Private Industry Council, were the panelists for this first meeting. The next week the topic was the fitness and wellness industry. Panelists Sue Byrne and Ayanna Hines from Harvard University, and Michael Cahill, the owner of Reebok CrossFit Back Bay, talked about the career opportunities in sports and fitness. A tour of the Harvard I-Lab was the final enrichment event of the summer. The Harvard I-Lab’s director, Josh Green, gave the teens the chance to meet some entrepreneurs and better understand how businesses are built from the initial idea, to identifying markets, getting financed and launching the business. Perhaps the highlight of the I-lab tour were the tasty samples of Chirps. Made from ground cricket flour, these snack chips were developed by Harvard students.