Welcome Project Inc

aka The Welcome Project   |   Somerville, MA   |  www.welcomeproject.org

Mission

The Welcome Project builds the
collective power of Somerville immigrants to participate in and shape community
decisions. We do this through programs that strengthen the capacity of
immigrant youth, adults and families to advocate for themselves and influence
schools, government, and other institutions.

Ruling year info

1991

Principal Officer

Warren Goldstein-Gelb

Main address

530 Mystic Ave Suite #111

Somerville, MA 02145

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EIN

04-3088140

NTEE code info

Minority Rights (R22)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

Cultural, Ethnic Awareness (A23)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

The Welcome Project's Tenant Advocacy Initiative helps families increase their understanding of the various systems they must negotiate. In the course of delivering a range of advocacy services, we also provide oral interpreter services, written translation, and information and referral services in Spanish, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and English. When Somerville residents use The Welcome Project's services at the Somerville Housing Authority, the Immigration office, or at an appointment with their child's teacher, they become able to take care of the business to which they must attend, without the fear and confusion that is common to people negotiating complex systems in a new country and in a foreign language. Thus, they take a step toward self-sufficiency and fuller participation in society.
The Education and Self-development Initiative includes Citizenship and Civic Participation, which prepares immigrants to become citizens, registers them to vote, and follows-up at election time by encouraging them to go to the polls; English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), which offers accessible and friendly classes; Women's Support Groups, through which women, usually single mothers, find ways to articulate their challenges and build networks to aid them in addressing those challenges; the Mystic Community Garden, through which immigrants connect with their new urban land; a Financial Literacy Class conducted in collaboration with Central Bank; and The Academic Achievement Project, which attracts volunteers from Temple Emunah in Lexington and students from Tufts University to work with Mystic youth and motivate academic achievement.
Through the Community Organizing Initiative, Mystic residents address concerns in areas such as the environment, community development, housing, civil and human rights, and health care delivery. The Welcome Project also organizes the larger immigrant community around significant issues, such as winning the right to vote in local elections for non-citizen immigrants.
All initiatives encourage participants to gain leadership skills and build community.

Population(s) Served

Promoting the educational aspirations of youth from
immigrant families has had a special role in our organization since the early
years. Today, half of the students in Somerville Public Schools are from
families where English is not the first language spoken at home. The
Youth Aspirations Program focuses on helping immigrant youth reach their full
potential by providing academic enrichment, support for youth preparing to
enter college or the work force, and hands-on civic engagement projects on
community issues of concern to immigrant youth. We do this through our:

· . Trains bilingual high school
students from immigrant families in Somerville to use their unique skills to
promote their own development as they support the engagement of their families
and neighbors in the civic life of the city. High quality training is provided
by CrossCultural Communications Systems, Inc, a company that trains adult
medical and legal interpreters.

· . Provides academic support and service opportunities for
youth aged 8-13. Mystic Wizards includes not only homework help but
opportunities for self expression and cultural exploration.

· . Offers support, programming and workshops for
immigrant families focused on supporting youth in the US educational system.
Through weekly sessions, high school students learn about the college process
and share their knowledge and skills with their peers and families.

Population(s) Served

Offers
accessible and friendly English classes. Our morning class offers childcare
through partnership with the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative. Like our
morning classes, our evening classes meet twice a week over 28 weeks throughout
the year. We infuse our classes with special topics of interest and concern to
residents, including schools, jobs and work issues, health access and housing. Over the last two years, we have
more than doubled the number of students in our English for Speakers of Other
Languages (ESOL) programs.  
 
B. International Parents Group. Supports immigrant parents to become active leaders in shaping the future of their children’s
education.

Population(s) Served

The
Welcome Project served on the founding governing body of the Somerville
Promise Alliance (SomerPromise), a new city-wide initiative focused on
public school education in the city. In its initial phase, programs are
being piloted at the Mystic and the adjacent Arthur D. Healey School. The goal is to better coordinate the
resources and programs of the city, schools and non-profit providers in
service to children and families who attend the Healey School. We are leveraging our program strengths to
contribute to this effort and play a leading role in ensuring a strong
civic engagement component—working with parents and the schools to break
down barriers to participation for immigrant families. Our program efforts
include an ESOL class called “Helping Your Child in School,” special
training for LIPS youth to interpret at school meetings, and the creation
of our new "International Parents Group" that supports parents to become active leaders in
shaping the future of their children’s education.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

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Financials

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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Welcome Project Inc

Board of directors
as of 06/04/2016
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ben Echevarria

No affiliation

Term: 2009 - 2012

Suzanne Sankar

Simmons School of Social Work

Judith Perlstein

Boston University School of Social Work

Deborah White

State of Massachusetts

Janet Pula

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Alex Pirie

Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health

Raul Salinas

Somerville Mental Health

Maria Ojeda

Mystic Housing resident

Gina Cachimuel

Student, Bunker Hill Community College

Susan Ostrander

Tufts University, Department of Sociology

Ben Echevarria

Youth Pastor, Caterer

Linda Borodkin

No affiliation

Emma Ramos

Mystic housing resident