My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for LIONHEART FOUNDATION, Needham, MA, USA
It is with great pleasure and excitement that I am writing to you about the Lionheart Foundation and their tremendous work with “Houses of Healing” and “Power Source”. We have had the tremendous privilege of knowing and working with Robin Casarjian and the Lionheart Foundation for the past ten years.
Roca is a vision and value-led youth and young adult development organization in Chelsea, Revere and East Boston, Massachusetts. Through transformational relationships, innovative life skills development, educational and pre-employment programming and activities and a new transitional employment program, Roca successfully creates opportunities for young people between the ages of 14 and 24. Roca works with young people who have been marginalized by society - those who are street youth, gang involved, pregnant or parenting, living in communities of violence, low income, disabled, ethnic and sexual minorities, adjudicated, system involved or of immigrant families.
Annually, Roca works intensively with 600 young people, provides less intensive services to 150-200 young people and 250+ parents, and outreach and education to 20,000 young people. Roca has a powerful array of community and institutional partners including Massachusetts General Hospital, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Youth Services, City of Chelsea, Chelsea/Revere Probation Department, Bunker Hill Community College, North Shore Community College, Chelsea Police Department, the Chelsea Public Schools, and many others.
Over the years, Roca staff and youth leaders have been using the Houses of Healing and Power Source books and videos and, more recently, the Power Source Parenting book. Roca youth enthusiastically participated in focus groups for Power Source, the videos for two of the Power Source sessions, and, for Power Source Parenting, a series of discussions and pilot project for young parents. “Houses of Healing”, “Power Source” and “Power Source Parenting” provide powerful and most importantly accessible models for young people, staff and administration at Roca to understand more about ourselves, our psycho-social development, and emotional literacy. Roca has incorporated peacemaking circles into the 8 – 10 week courses for each of the books as well.
Young people and staff speak extremely positively of the information they learn and the experiences they have in the groups. The material helps young people understand complex and difficult things in their lives while providing them a framework they can use and work with to grow and learn. Young people often refer back to what they learned in “Power Source.”
We are very excited and honored to work with the Lionheart Foundation on any and all projects. We have been able to assist in finding funding for the Spanish translation for “Power Source”, we are very excited about the evolving work for young mothers, and we are endlessly asking about the next video for young people who struggle with reading. Through our extensive network of community partners in the state, nationally and internationally, we are thrilled to share the Lionheart’s work with everyone we meet.
I as well as many of the staff at Roca are very fortunate to have been working with young people for many, many years. We have seen a lot of information, materials, curriculums, programs, etc., however, we not only believe, but know that “Power Source” is the best book and curriculum of its kind for young people that we have seen to date.