Photography by Julia DeGemmis
Paul McDevitt understands how important it is to have opportunities in life. “Showing kids that opportunities exist to move ahead in the world is so important,” says Paul. Sometimes these opportunities need to be created by neighborhood organizations designed to strengthen the community one life at a time. One of these organizations is the Paraclete. Located in the old St. Augustine’s convent on E Street, the Paraclete is an educational enrichment program offered to city kids to help expand their horizons by way of homework and tutoring assistance, enrichment classes, and education-based field trips. Paul sits on the board of the Paraclete and this year, at their annual fundraiser later this month, he will be honored for his dedication to the children of the South Boston.
Being a lifelong Bostonian – born in Charleston, lived in Dorchester and now calls South Boston his home, Paul is a true city guy at heart and knows that what we are exposed to shapes the choices we make in life. “Creating opportunities for kids to progress academically is so vital to our community. America has changed. It used to be years ago if you were from a certain neighborhood in Boston, you had the opportunity to go and work for Gillette if you lived in Southie or the chocolate factory if you lived in Dorchester. Now, an education is a necessity and creating these opportunities for our kids is the safety valve that takes the pressure of society.” Paul is a graduate of Boston College High School and Boston College. He holds a master’s degree in education from University of Massachusetts Boston.
As president of Modern Assistance Programs, Inc., he has dedicated his life to helping people with substance abuse and mental health problems. “I’ve helped more than 80,000 families through my job and I find it so rewarding. I love what I do. With some hard work, people can live the fullest of lives. It’s seeing that little bit of hope in someone – a glimpse of what life could be that’s inspiring.” Paul has served in some capacity of support for such life-changing organization in South Boston. From Julie’s Family Learning Program – helping women and children transform their lives, to the Gavin Foundation – providing comprehensive, community- based substance abuse education, prevention and treatment to Medicine Wheel – using art as a threshold for inclusion and healing. “There are some incredible organizations and non-profits in South Boston doing important work. The people of South Boston will always embrace and support them.”
He has been a valued voice of wisdom for many Boston-area nonprofit organizations. “He is so thoughtful and wise and he has used his talents to positively impact so many lives, ” says Eileen DeMichele of the Paraclete. “Paul has been on our board of directors since almost the beginning and has brought a spirit of compassionate understanding to the service oriented work that drives our organizations.” The Paraclete has enhanced the lives of over 1000 South Boston boys and girls by providing an enriching and unique learning experience.
Paul and his wife – Massachusetts Auditor Suzanne Bump – live on East Sixth Street on a tight knit block composed of both lifelong locals and new residents. “What I love most about South Boston are the people. They are so dedicated to this neighborhood and willing to lend a hand when needed. Such truly amazing people that you can bump into at Mul’s or walking around Castle Island. People make a neighborhood – and that’s one of the reasons why South Boston is such an incredible place. I encourage the newer residents to get involved – whether though volunteering or just attending a fundraiser to learn more about the great work our non-profit organizations are doing. It’s so important for all of our residents to connect and play an active part.”
Showing the kids of South Boston that opportunity exists to move ahead in this world is one of the goals of the Paraclete. Paul McDevitt is one of the valuable parts of this organization who is dedicated to ensuring that each kid has an opportunity for the fullest of lives.
If you would like to show your support for Paul and the Paraclete – you can attend their annual event on Wednesday, February 25th at 6:30pm at BC High. For more information visit: www.paraclete.org
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So proud to be related to Paul. He has done so many good deeds for those in need.
Joanne Morris McDevitt