Educational Institutions

Freedom House Inc

  • Dorchester, MA
  • www.freedomhouse.com

Mission Statement

Freedom House was founded in 1949 by sociologists and activists Otto and Muriel Snowden as a catalyst for promoting equality and access to quality education for people residing in lower-income communities throughout Boston. Our mission today is to transform the economic and cultural fabric of high-need communities through education and leadership development. We inspire young people to believe in their potential. We provide coaching and college-level learning from 9th through 12th grade, including high school credit accumulation and recovery to help students stay on track despite challenging life circumstances. In addition, we coach college students utilizing strategies that increase their persistence to graduate by empowering them to overcome systemic educational barriers to succeed. Inspired by our rich civil rights legacy, we also teach our students about the society in which they live, their role in society and how to become actively engaged in addressing social justice issues. We also provide support to help people thrive in the digital age through free computing time, classes on computing basics, and tools to strengthen and enhance skills. Our Timothy Smith Technology Lab helps bridge the digital divide by providing academic support, technology education, and access to computers for neighborhood residents. Our vision is to be an educational beacon in the community that will inspire, educate and motivate people to commit to life long learning and civic engagement.

Main Programs

  1. PUSH- Preparing Urban Students for Success in High School and Higher Education-High School Component
  2. PUSH-Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education -College Component
  3. Freedom House Summer Institute
  4. ComUniversity
  5. Global Classroom
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Freedom House serves Boston's inner-city corridor of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan and is located in Grove Hall, along the bordering line of Roxbury and Dorchester. Poverty rates in Grove Hall are high, - 29% of individuals live below the poverty level compared to 20% in the city nine percent in the state, and 12% in the nation. A higher percentage of young people are living below the poverty level than in the general population. (37% of youth under the age of 18.) Grove Hall has the highest rate of violent crime among youth in the city.

ruling year

1988

Principal Officer since 2012

Self-reported

Ms. Katrina Shaw

Keywords

Self-reported

FH, PUSH, Global Classroom, ComUniversity, Freedom House

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EIN

04-2240448

 Number

1380744643

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

Our top achievements for 2015: 1) Fully implemented a college coaching model called PUSH (Preparing Urban Students for Higher Education) that increased college matriculation rates at our Boston Public Schools (BP)S partner high schools: from 63% to 91% at Snowden International and from 48% to 68% at the Jeremiah Burke. 2) Added the Freedom House Academy, a partnership with BPS that allows its old and close student population (17-21 year olds) to take online credit recovery courses at Freedom House with the assistance of a BPS teacher, a Freedom House college coach to motivate students to think beyond high school and a mental health specialist to help them address personal barriers to their academic success. 3) We completed logic models and revised outcome measurement plans for all of our programs to assure full alignment and implemented a salesforce database system to measure outcomes for all of our programs. 4) Received federal funding as a sub-grantee of The Boston Foundation and its funding alliance with the Social Innovation Fund for a maximum of three years 5) After raising over $1 million for our capital campaign, we acquired the old Grove Hall Library in Dorchester to begin renovations on a 21st century Freedom House that will provide more classroom and community space. Our primary goals for 2016: 1) With renovations beginning on the Library in May, our goal is to raise an additional $1 million to assist with unforeseen needs, including a new roof, and have renovations completed by the end of the year 2) Complete Vision 2020, a strategic plan being created by the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive Officer and Senior Managers with input and guidance from the staff and an assessment of community needs and the needs of the students we serve. 3) Restructure staffing to meet organizational needs, including hiring another college coach to serve an additional 65 college students across our partner colleges: UMass Boston, Bunker Hill Community College and Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology; and to reorganize and grow our Development department in light of the financial needs of the organization due to program growth.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

PUSH- Preparing Urban Students for Success in High School and Higher Education-High School Component

PUSH High School helps students hone their academic, leadership and civic engagement skills, complete their college applications and financial aid forms, and select colleges that are right for them. By creating a culture of ""high expectations"", PUSH helps students develop the skills, strategies and support networks necessary to complete high school and advance to and succeed in college. We provide coaching and support that focuses on the relevance of what they are learning; reinforcing the importance of obtaining a credential or degree and provide soft skills training-critical hinking, team work and community organizing.We teach short and long term goal setting, how to execute a strategy and and help them make the connection between school and careers. FH has established a new partnership with Snowden International High School to serve 400 students to provide college readiness programming. During the summer, we have small group intensive programs to pilot new components.

Category

Youth Development, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Youth/Adolescents only (14 - 19 years)

Budget

$303,572.00

Program 2

PUSH-Preparing Urban Students for Success in Higher Education -College Component

PUSH College helps High School students access the best support network and resources that ensures their successful graduation from 2- and 4-year colleges. We provide transition and continued college support through 1) On-going Summer Institutes, 2) the development of high leverage peer and mentoring support networks, and 3) by providing timely ""on"" and ""of"" campus advising to remove historical barriers that prevent college success. Our staff provides coaching to help them develop strong academic behaviors, and self-advocacy skills. We have piloted an innovative ""embedded"" community based organization (CBO)/college partnership model with UMASS-Boston which offers an intensive and intentional, student-focused approach to college support. Our goal is to double the college graduation rate within a 3-6 year time frame by providing intensive wrap around services for 300-400 students.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

General Public/Unspecified

Budget

$307,618.00

Program 3

Freedom House Summer Institute

The Summer Intensive Institute is a critical element of the access and success approach. It provides intensive math review, English and writing, financial aid advising, and enrollment assistance during the summer months to better prepare students for the college transition. We support students' college preparation while still in high school, ensure a successful arrival on campus for incoming freshman and develop the ability to thrive in a college environment. Workshops cover topics such as: College 101: How to Survive Freshman Year; Paying for College: Overview of the Financial Aid Process and Strategies; Writers' Workshop: Tips and Tools to Improve Your College Writing; Time Management and Effective Study Skills; Managing Change, and Transitioning from High School to College Life. Students also focus on community service and civic engagement training. In 2013, we added on-line courses in partnership with UniversityNow.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

College Aged (18-26 years)

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Immigrants/Newcomers/Refugees

Budget

$50,000.00

Program 4

ComUniversity

Leverage partnerships with schools, colleges, corporations and technology companiesthroughComUniversitytoProvide Pathways to Lifelong Learningand civic leadership. Freedom House has served as a hub for Boston's diverse urban community and as a catalyst to promote equality and civil rights. From marches and sit-ins to college and career workshops and programs, Freedom House has given generations of parents and young people the tools and strategies of effective advocacy that lead to real and sustainable personal and community change. In recent years, Freedom House has sought to continue these efforts through The Snowden Center for Civic Engagement and Action, which convened and engaged community residents in advocacy and partnership efforts to enhance the understanding of and reduce education disparities within low-income neighborhoods and communities of color in Boston. Continuing this legacy, Freedom House has partnered with the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMASS Boston) to establish ComUniversity, a partnership between Freedom House and UMASS Boston's College of Public and Community Service. The ultimate goal of ComUniversity is to create a space where corporations, universities and communities can use their creative energies to develop innovative approaches to community development. Short-term goals: To demystify the college experience by providing community access to university level coursework and credit within the heart of the community in partnership with UMass Boston and UniversityNow.To engage the community and university in a reciprocal, collaborative process as co-creators of knowledge, skills and action plans to advance the goals and objectives of the community To help the community and the university jointly identify issues, assess assets and needs and develop strategies to mobilize resources to transform communities

Category

Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

College Aged (18-26 years)

Budget

$50,000.00

Program 5

Global Classroom

Global Classrooom in Grove Hall to providePathways to Global Competitiveness. Issues such as a lack of basic education not only prevent individuals from being fully employed but also constrain business development, as firms find it difficult to move up the value chain by producing more sophisticated or value-intensive products with under developed human resources. Our colleges have the capacity to produce a strong 21stCentury workforce, however, there is a growing disconnect between college level learning and high school graduates' college readiness skills. This challenge impedes the US' ability to produce an educated 21st century workforce. Freedom House seeks to deepen its relationship with current and potential corporate funders to provide the following opportunities for students and residents: Timothy Smith Computer Lab - including multi-lingual computer classes and math, English and science classes and college classes delivered through new technology such as iPads and other mobile devices.Corporate Sponsored Academic Competitions and Challenges tied to college scholarshipsTeen Technology Gurus - intergenerational exchange where teens teach basic phone and computer technology to local seniorsPhysical/Virtual Global Exchange & Global Community Projects in collaboration with similar or complimentary missions and communities in other countries around the globe

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Ethnic/Racial Minorities -- General

College Aged (18-26 years)

Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

Budget

$139,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    In five years, the first group of high school freshmen we worked with will be graduating from college. These students will be the first students we have provided coaching from the start of their high school careers through to the end of their college careers. It is our main goal to see increased persistence in those students who have received the full dosage of PUSH. In order to achieve increased persistence we will: * decrease the number of students in remedial coursework; * increase SAT scores and GPAs (commonly we have students with a high GPA receiving low SAT scores and the inverse); * and, show students that there is a path to a four year degree through community college. Our indicators of success in five years include an increase in: * four year college attendance, * four year college success, * two year college success; * and, in students transferring from two-year to four-year colleges (specifically from Bunker Hill Community College to UMass Boston). In addition to increasing persistence, we are striving to serve an additional 2500 students in 5 years and 5000 over 10 years. We collect data through our Salesforce database and evaluate our success through analysis of that data. For both PUSH High School and PUSH College, we collect data from one-on-one coaching sessions wherein coaches administer surveys and report on their sessions. In PUSH College, student surveys are conducted yearly and they measure the student's relationship with a positive role model. In PUSH High School, surveys are administered yearly and they measure the student's confidence as a learner and their outlook toward their future. Additionally, PUSH coaches report on the social-emotional, academic, and economic well-being of the student based on their one-on-one sessions. This data ensures we have a targeted approach to meet the individual needs of students. Our ability to target students in need of more coaching or a referral provides us with the necessary framework to ensure student persistence and success throughout college.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    Freedom House's strengths lie in pioneering and achieving youth development and college completion strategies for low-income and minority students, history and legacy of commitment to social justice and educational excellence and a sharp focus on the execution of our strategic plans. We are one of the few minority led organizations in Boston's inner city dedicated to ensuring young people have the 21st century skills to equip them for today's knowledge-driven global economy.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Since its founding 65 years ago, Freedom House has always been a ""house"" that provides a safe and supportive environment within Boston's inner city. It is a house where people have celebrated and explored their cultural heritage; and where educational discovery, academic excellence, intergenerational exchanges, leadership and community responsibility are demonstrated and inspired. Freedom House's college programs are structured to help young people with the skills, navigational strategies and support networks necessary to complete both high school and college through intensive coaching. We also focus on overcoming systemic educational barriers, policies that negatively impact inner city communities and other social justice challenges - and our strategies in particular increase student persistence towards post-secondary graduation. Freedom House's expertise as a community partner increases the capacity of public school systems to graduate students who are college ready and supports colleges (particularly community and state schools) to increase their graduation rates. Our programs attract students of all races from across the city and, while the majority of them come from Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan, Freedom House also serves students from South Boston, Roslindale, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain and East Boston. Freedom House provides pathways to success for students and the community. PUSH students learn how to elevate their academic performance, persist, and succeed in college in order to attain better career options and develop into civically engaged citizens. Freedom House's community-focused programs provide pathways to lifelong learning and advancement and a college level learning environment in the neighborhood as well as global competitiveness through online learning, technology partnerships and summer and weekend intensive institutes.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    Not available.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Freedom House serves Boston's inner-city corridor of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan and is located in Grove Hall, along the bordering line of Roxbury and Dorchester. Poverty rates in Grove Hall are high, - 29% of individuals live below the poverty level compared to 20% in the city nine percent in the state, and 12% in the nation. A higher percentage of young people are living below the poverty level than in the general population. (37% of youth under the age of 18.) Grove Hall has the highest rate of violent crime among youth in the city.

Funding Needs

1) We need to reset our capital campaign by creating two distinct phases: Phase I: to raise $1 million to complete renovations of the old Grove Hall Library at 5 Crawford Street by December 2016; and Phase II, finalizing a plan and funding strategy for original Freedom House building, located at 14 Crawford Street, loosely estimated to be a $7 million+ project 2) Build a Development team and department to have the capacity to address the needs of a growing organization 3) Select and purchase a fundraising database system and identify and train key staff on the system 4) Secure $20,000 to incorporate social emotional learning, positive peer relationships, study skills and academic support to increase student outcomes, as well as to broaden their geographical horizons in outdoor learning environments that promote and enhance that development 5) Complete revisions on our new Human Resources manual

Accreditations

External Reviews

Source: greatnonprofits.org

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Freedom House Inc
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Freedom House Inc

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
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  • Forms 990 for 2014, 2013 and 2013
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Principal Officer

Ms. Katrina Shaw

BIO

Katrina Shaw joined Freedom House in September 2012 as the new Chief Operating Officer responsible for programs, operations and strategy. She succeeded Gail Snowden as CEO in 2013. Previously, as Co-Executive Director of City Year Louisiana, she provided executive leadership for the multi-city site of 90 employees and volunteers. As an AVP of the State Street Corporation Foundation, Katrina managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of funding to over 300 charitable organizations globally.nIslands. She planned and co-led the development of a strategic plan forcorporate philanthropy and community affairs that strategically leveragedcorporate philanthropy, employee volunteerism, matching gifts, employee giving campaigns, disaster relief efforts and corporate event sponsorships. She has a Masters of Social Work from Boston College and a B.A. from Spelman College. She is responsible for the attainment of FH's mission, financial and human resource management, board engagement, fund raising/capital campaign, community relations, programs, operations and budget of $998K. She manages all aspects of this 65 year old nonprofit particularly financial discipline, expense controls and donor development.

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

"What began in a small office on Humboldt Avenue in Boston's Black community, has grown into a respected organization that has played a critical role on so many local and national issues. The accomplishments of the 60's, 70's and 80's are notable but, like many organizations, Freedom House needs to build upon its capacity to be an effective organization in today's modern world. Beginning with our programming and with an awareness of the disconnect between our current approach and desire to serve more of Boston's students and families, we created PUSH, a high school to college transition program that encourages students to participate in civic engagement and community organizing activities to further community development goals. We have a new, dedicated leadership team that respects the past and is able to move forward unhindered by it. We are a robust group of innovative, 21stcentury strategic thinkers who are poised to take on the challenges of this strategy with agility. The elements that make Freedom House successful are its ability to weld the staff into a team where efforts are meshed into an enabling force; the willingness to share its power and pool its resources with other organizations; and to undertake efforts to achieve common goals of raising community standards of living. Freedom House needs general operating funds to grow/strengthen our core, to scale our direct service education programming to ensure the long term success of all the elements of our mission. Our ability to serve youth and the community depends upon our incredible staff and we need to make a significant investment in our human resource strategy and to strengthen our culture as we mobilize our diverse and culturally competent team towards social and economic justice. The State of Black Boston Study was released and its key finding was that a persistent racial gap between Blacks and Whites remains in terms of median income, and other groups remains regardless of the type of family structure or the education attained by Black persons. This is why Freedom House was created in 1949 and why our work is so critical today. We serve nearly 2020 students and community members and building a larger, state of the art facility will enable us to serve more residents, helping to improve their social and academic outcomes. "

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Andrew Sobers

GMH Mortgages, LLC

Term: Dec 2015 - Dec 2018

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?