Even More Than Fun: B-SAFE Builds Leaders

It is time! We are ready for our NINETEENTH summer of the B-SAFE Program (Bishop's Summer Academic and Fun Enrichment Program)! Staff are hired, field trips are scheduled, teens are employed, young people are registered, academic themes are picked, lessons are planned, lunches are scheduled, and a ton of fun is around this corner.


As in previous summers, the goal of B-SAFE is to build communities where all people feel safe, feel big, and feel connected. B-SAFE 2018 will be one of our biggest communities ever:

  • 24 days of program
  • 90 adult staff
  • 120 Counselors-in-Training and Teen Organizers
  • 35 Junior CITs (paid internship)
  • 500 elementary and middle school participants
  • 130 field trips full of adventure   
  • 35,000 hours of academic programming
  • 1 community 

Last week, all B-SAFE staff--all our adults and teens--gathered at Epiphany School for training and coaching on B-SAFE's values, policies, and programs. On Monday,  July 9, B-SAFE welcomed young people through the doors of our sites and start the work of helping them to grow, learn, and thrive.

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One of B-SAFE's chief goals, in addition to building academic skills and having fun, is to develop the leadership of young people and adults. This summer, fully half of our Lead Counselors and Teaching Specialist positions  will be filled by young adults who started their connection to B-SAFE as participants or teen staff. For our thirty-person senior leadership team, including Site Managers and Teen Staff Managers, 75% either participated in B-SAFE as a young person or are getting a promotion from a different role within SSYP. 

All the adult staff pictured are stepping into roles with increased responsibilities. (from left to right) 

  • Latasha Scott served as a B-READY YLC Lead Counselor this past school year; this summer she will be a B-SAFE Teen Staff Manager. In the fall, Latasha will return to B-READY as the YLC Site Coordinator and Massachusetts Promise Fellow.
  • Walid Harkous has served for several years as a Counselor-in-Training for several years. This summer, Walid will be the Site Assistant for the JCITs at St. Augustine and St. Martin. He just graduated from the O'Bryant and will be a first-year student at Wentworth University in September.
  • Angie Hyppolite worked as a Teen Organizer this school year, helping to lead B-PEACE's campaign to get a meeting with the CEO of Smith and Wesson (still waiting...). This summer, Angie will be the Site Assistant at Holy Spirit. A few weeks ago, she graduated from Boston Day and Evening Academy; in September, she will be starting at The Base.
  • Vicky Ajene worked this past B-READY year as an amazing Creative Arts Specialist. This spring and summer, as the YLC Academic & Program Administrator, Vicky is one of the top leaders making B-SAFE happen. Vicky has worn many hats at SSYP, starting nearly ten years ago as a teen Counselor-in-Training. In September, she returns to SSYP in a year-round, full-time role: Manager of Academic and Enrichment Programs.

Each of these leaders earned their new responsibilities through hard work, dedication, and love for young people. Congratulations to each of them and all the other staff stepping into new leadership roles. And now, let the fun begin! 

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By Liz Steinhauser, Senior Director of Youth Programs

Liz Steinhauser joined St. Stephen's staff in 2003. She brings over 30 years of professional training and experience as a youth worker and community organizer to the position. Liberation theology developed her commitment to social justice. Girl Scouts built her arts and crafts skills and her repertoire of goofy songs. She is a graduate of Colgate University and Harvard Divinity School and is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts. She lives in Roslindale with her modern family.