Youths from the Franklin Field housing development in Dorchester are getting a feel for a college campus, even before they get to high school.
A partnership between the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay and Boston College, is bringing the students ages 7-13 to the college’s Brighton campus and pairing them with college-age mentors.
“We want them [the youth] to think of Boston College as part of their community,” said Terrence McCarron, senior director of program services at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay. “This is a unique program because we are trying to link the two communities.”
During the “field trips” to the school, students interact with the current college students, meeting members of the college’s sport teams, clubs, and organizations.
“We’re trying to provide dynamic learning opportunities to have constructive unique experiences for these kids,” McCarron said. “We really want to reach these kids at an early age and get them excited.”
Close to 50 Dorchester youth take part in the program that began in 2010, learning about everything a college has to offer, and having some fun -- with dance classes, swimming in the college’s aquatic center, and getting tours of BC’s stadium.
“I’ve never met a kid I didn’t think could be successful,” said McCarron. “These are the kids that will grow up to be leaders in their communities and if you give them the right environment and structure they will do great things.”