MLCS opens doors to opportunity and change by helping children, youth, and adults in East Boston to build 21st-century skills



Socio economic pre-determinants like institutional poverty discourage healthy cognitive development from zero to adulthood.


How does this happen?


  • Ages 0 to 5: homes may not be cognitive-rich environments, leading to a failure to thrive for babies, infants, and toddlers.
  • School-aged children under 12: Children who aren't school ready, fall behind academically and become passive consumers of negative media and digital content rather than constructive, creative, and powerful users of technology.
  • Teens: Lacking curiosity and having poorly developed critical thinking skills, teens can become disconnected from their own inherent talents. Patterns around media consumption and digital use become reinforced, and they become exposed to nefarious activity such as gang involvement.
  • Adulthood: As cognitive patterns become more fixed, belief patterns around learning and growth become more self-limiting and entrenched


It is critical to provide multiple developmentally appropriate points of entry to change learned cognitive patterns in order to create new constructive habits of the mind. MLCS is well positioned to effect this change.


Solution (Approach)

MLCS is in the heart of a housing development where families live in subsidized units for over a decade on average. We watch babies become toddlers; toddlers become children; children become teens; and teens become adults. We have the opportunity to reach people at every turn. MLCS capitalizes on this access by providing age-appropriate programming to help people break through learned barriers to build 21st century skills and achieve economic, educational, and personal goals.


How does MLCS open the doors to change?


  • Ages 0 to 5: MLCS nurtures a cognitive-rich home environment through offerings like the baby cafe, playgroups, and the family nurturing program.
  • School-aged children under 12: MLCS encourages smarter media and digital consumption in a staffed maker space and tech lab. Through Maverick Makers, staff help children to develop a curiosity for learning with STEAM-based activities in a maker space for young learners.
  • Teens: MLCS employs a positive youth development and mentoring approach to build life skills and reengage youth in the possibilities of their future. YEP is an arts-based literacy and social action program, supporting artistic self expression and the development of agency and purpose. GEM provides mentoring and case management for youth at higher levels of risk. Both programs engage youth in their future and re-focus youth towards goal-setting and skill building.
  • Ages 15 to Adulthood: For teens and adults, MLCS offers smart digital job search tools and sharp resume development. MLCS Tech Lab also offers the opportunity to build digital skills through introductory programs like Tech Goes Home, and the more advanced program EastieCoders, which aims to make learning HTML, CSS, and JavaScript accessible to everyone.


Help MLCS continue to open its doors to change at every critical turn of the lifecycle by making your contribution today.