Tired of the stereotype of teenagers being non-contributing members of the South Boston community, Kristine Mullen at 12 years old joined the South Boston Youth Ambassadors – a group that is the antithesis of non-productive.
Instead of neighbors viewing Southie teens as kids who hang on the corner and smoke and drink, this group of kids is seen as inspirational. “We have people who come and thank us. It’s very rewarding,” says Kristine now almost 6 years later.
Who are South Boston Youth Ambassadors?
They are dedicated young adults who strive to contribute to the overall betterment of the community of South Boston. One of the main focuses empower Southie youth and develop strong leadership skills. By partnering with caring adults from the community, these kids learn how to contribute through fun, creative and positive projects around town.
Just some of events that Kristine participates in as a Youth Ambassador:
- Street cleanup – they are out there on the streets picking up trash and sweeping up discarded cigarette butts.
- Anti-litter campaign – they have urged the businesses and residents of the Southie to keep the streets clean.
- Community Day – an event organized, planned, promoted and hosted by the Youth Ambassadors. They invite other non-profits to showcase their programs and youth groups are invited to perform. It’s a day display all the positive things in the community of South Boston.
- Hearts of Kindness – an annual tradition of creating fabric hearts that are hung on a prominent tree in South Boston during Valentine’s week, which is also Random Acts of Kindness Week. The youth create the hearts and stuff them with a slip of paper that describes an act of kindness that they have done – a Valentine’s gift to South Boston from the youth, designed to show that they care and to raise awareness about the importance of kindness.
- South Boston Grows – the Youth Ambassadors also work closely with this group helping with planting and gardening.
Kristine is a stand out member
Her energy and love for this group radiates with enthusiasm when she speaks about it. “It has had such a positive influence on my life. It has made me the person I am today and I so happy to be a part of an amazing group of kids and adults,” says Kristine. And according to Linda Doran and Mayra Rodriguez-Howard organizers of the group, Kristine is a true role model for the youth of South Boston. “What makes Kristine stand out in the program is her commitment to both to the program and to her personal growth. She has been with the Youth Ambassadors since she was 12 years old and has grown into a true leader among her peers. She has developed strong nurturing and mentoring skills that will carry into her adult life.”
Fun facts about Kristine:
- She is a senior at Boston Latin Academy
- Her goal is to be a special education teacher
- She works at the Java House (541 East Broadway) in the afternoons – most popular item ordered there, “Snickerdoodle iced coffee”
- Favorite local eatery: Sully’s.
- Favorite item to order: “Cheeseburger all around.”
- Favorite thing when not in school or at work: “Hang out with my friends and take vacations.”
- Favorite Book: Nicholas Sparks The Notebook
- Favorite place to spend money: “The Mall.”
Kristine’s upbeat personality, her energy and her willingness to dedicate her time to the community are infectious. She inspires you to want to be a more productive member of our community and get out there and change the world. That is why Kristine is our May (2011) Character of the Month.
Interested in learning more about the South Boston Youth Ambassadors? Please contact Mayra Rodriguez-Howard 617.464.7423 or Linda Doran at 617.464.7463.