The Economy of Relationships

Article By: Maggie Austen

Photo Credit: Joshua Fidalgo

The stories that demonstrate the power of caring adults in the lives of young people are powerful. As a host site for one of Mass Mentoring Partnership’s Highland Street AmeriCorps Ambassadors of Mentoring and a recipient of one of their Matching Grants, funded by State Line Item money, DSNI helped to support a powerful day of story telling, celebrating, and educating. Youth Mentoring Day at the State House leveraged the power of relationships in more ways then we set out to. As participants shared their stories with each other and then took them to key policy makers – new relationships emerged.

Three mentees, Dearborn STEM Academy Sophomores, attended with mentor and DSNI board member Joshua Fidalgo. They got to hear stories from other mentoring organizations across the state, such as Boston Partners in Education, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, Family Services of the Merrimack Valley, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Franklin County. State Rep. Pignatelli spoke about his support for mentoring across the Commonwealth and our very own Senator Forry reminded them of the power of relationships in her own life.

DSNI is excited to be apart of celebrating these, and all, relationships. In addition to a year of powerful legislative turnout at our events and meetings, and our visit from Governor Baker, Youth Mentoring Day provided another opportunity for our young people’s and community’s voices to be heard and for new and powerful relationship to be forged.

The State Budget is stretched to its limits but we have confidence in the relationships our community is strengthening with our legislatures. Youth Mentoring Day’s successes feed from the strength of relationships. The work at DSNI, empowering our neighbors to create, plan for, and control their neighborhood in collaboration with community partners, is dependent on the relationships we develop everyday. As our young people prepare for the Youth Job’s Rally on February 19th – they will leverage their voices and their relationships again. They will tell the stories of youth employment- many of which highlight the economy of relationships; an economy that we can all work towards boosting.