Our Model: City Links
City Links is an intensive intervention program for new immigrant youth. The program’s holistic model includes weekly leadership seminars, academic tutoring, one-on-one mentoring, job readiness training, paid internships, and community service. City Links program participants are freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors enrolled in the Bi-Lingual/English Language Acquisition (B/ELA) program at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School (CRLS)- Cambridge’s only public high school. Students reflect the diverse linguistic minority community of Cambridge, representing countries such as Haiti, Brazil, El Salvador, Pakistan, Vietnam, India, Sudan, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Ethiopia.
Students enroll in City Links, committing to the programs 2-3 year trajectory. Students participate in the Mentorship Program in their first year, are matched 1-1 with an adult volunteer mentor, attend monthly workshop, and receive individual case management. Students graduate into the rigorous Leadership Program, involving nearly 15 hours of programming each week (extending the learning day by 50%). Program components include: paid internships, academic support, 1-1 mentoring, community service projects, a weekly seminar on workforce readiness, leadership development, and life skills. Seniors in the Leadership Program also attend workshops with their mentors, designed to ensure a successful transition from high school to college. Additionally, a select group of City Links seniors will be chosen for paid internships in the program as “Peer Leaders,” providing mentorship, guidance, and support to younger students in the Mentorship and Leadership Programs throughout the school year.
The City Links program model of holistic programming with centralized delivery of service is based on 23 years of programmatic success and refinement, backed by academic research. We’ve demonstrated that student progress is greatly accelerated when one organization leads in providing these crucial supports and current research confirms the benefit of centralized delivery of services and interventions. Additionally, 1-1 mentoring, a core City Links component in both the Mentoring and Leadership Program, has been especially well documented to produce significant and lasting improvements for low-income students. Complementing this proven intervention with academic support, paid internships, service learning opportunities, and individualized case management puts our students firmly on a pathway to success.
“I would not be where I am today without the help of City Links; I carry many of the lessons learned at City Links with me.” – City Links Student
Students are introduced to mentors who they meet with weekly.
Mentors help mentees in the following areas:
– Building positive relationships
– Exploring careers
– Higher education planning
Students meet with mentors, receive academic tutoring, attend leadership seminars, and are places in a paid internship.
Through this program, students receive:
– Academic support
– One-on-one mentoring
– Job readiness training
– Leadership seminars
A Week in the Life of a City Links Student