Meet Francisco, a BCYF Streetworker
I came to United States from El Salvador in 1999, when I was 13 years old. I grew up in East Boston and during my time in school I had a hard time finding resources for kids like me in our community. Even with that struggle, I graduated from college. Once I graduated, I realized that I wanted to give back to my community by helping kids to use the resources available for them to succeed. Right now, I focus on kids who are involved in gangs, and also kids who just don’t have anything to do after school. I want to make sure they have constructive ways to spend their time, that they know the right places to go, and that they have the right resources to succeed, the same way I did.
A lot of kids in East Boston are here undocumented from El Salvador and all across Central America. Because they don’t have proper identification, it is harder for them to get jobs, find meaningful work and even access educational opportunities. Simple things we take for granted, like having an ID card, can be so vital to whether they "sink or swim." I reached out to the Consulate of El Salvador to be able to provide passports and other identification documentation to at-risk teens so that they can access all the resources available to them. These kids are part of the East Boston community and we want to make sure that they are able to succeed and contribute in a positive way to society.
When you’re a Streetworker, you work with different people from different fields: teachers, school principals, church leaders, politicians, probation officers and judges. The people I work with in East Boston are so kind and supportive of Streetworkers. I wait at the bus stop after school and make sure kids have their T passes to go home. The bus drivers I encounter are so understanding and want to help out. It's the same thing when I go by the high school or the courthouse. The teachers, the judges, they all just want to be as helpful as they can be so these kids can succeed. To feel that a whole community is behind you and supporting you in your work is so meaningful, especially when your job can be so hard at times.
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