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At One Bead, we teach kids how to transform society rather than function within in. Our programming is designed to give students who may struggle academically and/or socially opportunities to feel successful. This stems from our belief that if you can point to a time in your life where your sense of self allowed you to achieve, then your ability to replicate that experience becomes infinitely stronger.

Middle school is arguably one of the most vulnerable times in a child’s life. Academically, we know students who fail to reach a certain level of competency in math and reading by eight grade are almost certain to drop out of high school. And that’s just what happens inside of the classroom. Outside of school, many of our students are exposed to issues ranging from homelessness to gun violence. It is imperative then that we give our students opportunities to achieve at a young age.

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With support from professionals, local leaders, and non-profit activists, we provide our students with access to languages of power by including them in conversations where we discuss what the future should look, feel, and sound like.

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Our main program service gives elementary and middle school aged students a $1,000 opportunity to make a difference in their community. This year long program is customized to meet the needs of every child in the class. It is designed to both build empathy for others and inspire an entrepreneurial approach to problem solving. For our partners with shorter program timelines, we recommend CEOs & NGOS. Instead of working towards the implementation of student-led service project, CEOs and NGOs culminates with a networking event that brings together youth and professionals across the city.

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Each of our programs connects youth with local non-profits. We invite representatives from each organization into our classrooms to give students a better understanding of the issues effecting their communities. Our non-profit partners help our students think creatively about ways to make a difference and spread awareness. In many cases, our students donate in-kind or monetary donations to these organizations. During the 2018–2019 academic year our students worked with a total of 23 non-profits in the Greater Boston Area. Interested in joining our network of philanthropic partners? Fill out our online form.

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Students spend the majority of our program designing Action Plans describing how they would like to use $1,000 to make a difference locally. Two thirds of the way through programming, students pitch their ideas to the class. The group votes to select the winning idea and the entire class comes together to see that idea through into fruition. Our students and the community they live in are better off as a result.

7th and 8th graders in Salem designed water bottles encouraging their peers to stay hydrated.

7th and 8th graders in Salem designed water bottles encouraging their peers to stay hydrated.

7th graders in Charlestown designed and sold pop-sockets to spread awareness about mental health.

7th graders in Charlestown designed and sold pop-sockets to spread awareness about mental health.

6th graders in Brighton donated to a local homeless shelter and designed stickers to fight stereotypes surrounding homelessness.

6th graders in Brighton donated to a local homeless shelter and designed stickers to fight stereotypes surrounding homelessness.

*Hover over the three projects above to read more about them. See ALL of our past projects here.