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“We hire, train, supervise, and support older college students to support their younger peers to and through college.”

– Jordan Wesley, Managing Director of Partnerships at Let’s Get Ready 

 In the heart of our communities, where the vibrancy of youth meets the promise of tomorrow, Let’s Get Ready and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB) are embarking on a transformative endeavor. This collaboration is not just a partnership but a pledge to our future leaders — a commitment to illuminate pathways to success through education, mentorship, and real-world experiences.  

At the forefront of this promising alliance, Jordan Wesley, Let’s Get Ready’s Managing Director of Partnerships, alongside Marvin Vilma, Managing Director of Development, recently visited the Josh Kraft Mattapan Teen Center to lay the groundwork for a collaboration that aspires to change lives. 

A Partnership Rooted in a Key Goal: Empowering Youth

The synergy between Let’s Get Ready and BGCB is a testament to the power of collaborative effort towards a common goal: empowering youth to realize their fullest potential. By integrating Let’s Get Ready’s impactful curriculum and coaching model with BGCB’s wide-reaching and nurturing network, this partnership promises to expand horizons for countless young individuals. 

 “Now we actually see a warm handoff to the next phase of things where they get follow up and get support so that’s what is great about this,” explains Ed Powell, Associate Vice President of Workforce Readiness at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston. 

Marvin Vilma, Managing Director of Development (Left), alongside Jordan Wesley, Let’s Get Ready’s Managing Director of Partnerships (Right). 

“Let’s Get Ready is a very collaborative program in the ecosystem. We realize we can’t do everything ourselves, so we partner with the next trusted organization and the young people continue on a forward trajectory from there,” says Marvin Vilma. 

The initial phase of this partnership will see 10 teens from three BGCB clubs, including the Josh Kraft Mattapan Teen Center, Edgerley Family South Boston Club, and Gerald and Darlene Jordan Club, participate in Let’s Get Ready’s transformative programs. This initiative not only marks the beginning of a broader engagement strategy but also sets a precedent for the kind of targeted, meaningful support that can significantly alter the trajectory of a young person’s life. 

Empowering Through Education: The Let's Get Ready Approach

Let’s Get Ready stands as a guiding light for students navigating the complex journey to college and beyond. With a curriculum designed to empower and a coaching model that echoes the voices of experience and understanding, Let’s Get Ready redefines what it means to support student success.  

“Our curriculum is really scoped and sequences around all those kinds of milestones we know students need, so part of what would happen is we’re pushing out tip sheets and overviews like, hey it’s financial aid season, hey it’s scholarship season. So, we’re pushing those sorts of things out and then providing support, so students know how to get the applications done,” Jordan Wesley discusses. 

Let’s Get Ready offers what Jordan describes as a “text-based curriculum,” so when there are milestones like scholarship season, coaches are texting students directly sending them reminders and information. 

Amber Reese, BGCB Strategic Consultant, shared her experience with Ready to Work from when she was a student.  

“My SAT scores significantly increased because I was participating in the SAT prep” she recalls.  She credits Let’s Get Ready’s assistance to her being able to attend her dream school, Spelman College. 

The flexibility of Let’s Get Ready’s program allows for engagement at critical junctures in a student’s educational journey, offering tailored support from their junior year of high school up to six years post-graduation. This model acknowledges the diverse paths students may take, ensuring that whenever they join, they receive comprehensive guidance tailored to their specific needs and aspirations. 

BGCB Staff meeting with Jordan Wesley and Marvin Vilma of Let’s Get Ready in MTC Auditorium

Empowering Futures: How Let's Get Ready's Coaches Are Transforming Lives as Impactful Mentors

Let’s Get ready also works to make sure that their coaches in the program represent their students in the best way possible so that students can connect on aspects of college readiness that other people may not understand; including coming from a low-income household and trying to afford to go to college. 

By recruiting college students as coaches, Let’s Get Ready offers a unique near-to-peer guidance system that not only prepares high school students academically but also instills the confidence, resilience, and critical thinking skills necessary for college and career readiness. 

Students in the Let’s Get Ready program also have the opportunity to become coaches once they reach college.  

Many coaches are actually Let’s Get Ready students. They go through the program and when they become a coach, they can help other students overcome the same challenges they went through. This is because they now have the experience to assist them.  This is also a great way for alumni of the program gain employment while in college.  

BGCB Staff with Jordan Wesley and Marvin Vilma of Let’s Get Ready in front of Mattapan Teen Center

Bridging Pathways: STEM and Healthcare

At the heart of this partnership is a shared vision to create pathways to opportunity and success in fields of critical importance and high demand. Let’s Get Ready’s STEM pathways program, which focuses on ensuring students not only declare but graduate with STEM majors, dovetails perfectly with BGCB’s Ready to Work Healthcare Pathways program. The latter prepares high school students for careers in healthcare through internships, workshops, and pre-college programs, addressing a vital need for skilled professionals in the healthcare sector. 

“We’re developing curriculum that is focused on how ensuring STEM students graduate with their intended major,” describes Marvin Vilma on the new STEM pathway being developed in Let’s Get Ready 

“We’re building in a lot of curriculum focused on cultivating career guidance connections with those students to make sure they have what they need to follow through in their pursuit of a STEM degree,” Marvin continues. 

“That sounds in alignment with the work we’re doing at the Boys & Girls Club and even right now just consulting on the project for pathways, it’s really been able to provide members with a guide, maybe it’s 4 years in college or a certification, to figuring out what’s the best path for them as it relates to healthcare,” Amber Reese responds. 

This connection between STEM education and healthcare career preparation reflects a strategic approach to workforce development, aligning educational pursuits with industry needs. By providing students with the tools, knowledge, and real-world experience they need to succeed in these fields, Let’s Get Ready and BGCB are not just preparing students for college but for fulfilling, impactful careers. 

Curious to learn more about BGCB? Learn more and get involved today.