WAMS Works with individuals and community partners to make a measurable difference in the lives of children, families and individuals as they strive for an independent and financially secure life.
WAMS is an educator.
As Massachusetts continues to rank well in its four year public high school graduation rate for white students, it continues to lag far behind for Latinx and black students. Deficits in access to opportunities during childhood directly correlate to these large achievement gaps as children grow older and attempt the navigate an educational system that requires the ability to access and apply knowledge in ways that are not adequately supported by their opportunities and experiences.
Two ways of intervening to ensure that all public school children will be well prepared for the future include: 1) supporting and offering out of school (after-school and summer ) opportunities for rigorous deeper learning, with students thinking critically and creatively and working collaboratively; and 2) equipping low-income schools and teachers with the tools and understandings needed to successfully offer the same kind of innovative learning that is more commonly accessed in affluent suburbs.
Presently, WAMS works to address this important concern through the Summer CUBS program at Woodland Academy that provides direct learning to students and serves as a model for what can be achieved when public and private partners work together to care about student success.
WAMS is a convener.
As with many others across our state, our country and our planet, WAMS believes in the power of bringing diverse people together in an environment that encourages the exchange of ideas and the exploration of new models for social impact.
The WAMS Conference Event Series represents a commitment toward bringing together individuals and groups from across the City of Worcester and the State who are committed to fresh thinking and new understandings regarding such critical concerns as poverty reduction, economic empowerment, health, human rights and education. Together, the participants in these gatherings strive to identify and move forward ideas, solutions, and progress that create inclusion, access and opportunity for all.
WAMS builds community leaders through youth engagement.
With so much advice directed at being “the change you want to see,” but so little advice provided on how to get there, it’s not surprising that so many youth speak of the anxiety they feel when it comes to their future.
At WAMS we have seen first hand the value of youth programming that educates, engages and empowers young people to find their place and make a real difference. Our programs inform our youth about social issues and connect them with the resources they need to become actively and effectively involved in their communities, empowering them to become leaders for themselves and for the next generation.
Currently, our primary program offering is ReachOut Worcester, a guided overnight immersion program that offers Greater Worcester- area youth (age 13 and up) and their leaders a deep dive into what it might be like to live day to day, struggling for food and shelter, and the ways in which openness to the formation of deep, meaningful relationships between those who “serve” and those who come to be “served” can make a big difference for everyone.
As we look toward a future that once again allows us to meet and serve in person with youth, we look forward to expanding this program to include workshop opportunities for youth to better understand how they can make a difference in policies related to such things as housing, food, mental health, substance recovery and criminal justice that affect and often even pre-determine life outcomes for so many who are not given equal access to even the most basic of life necessities.
WAMS partners and serves.
Learn & Serve Worcester is an ad hoc program connecting youth and their leaders with hands- on opportunities to achieve real objectives for the community as well as deeper understandings and skills for themselves. Partners include Habitat for Humanity MetroWest/ Greater Worcester, Matthew25, Mustard Seed and the Regional Environmental Council.
While this program is currently on hold as we face the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic, these organizations continue to do their work as safely as possible and to rely on the support of the wider community in other ways.