Progress Update: Accelerator Program Graduating 2022 Cohort

Sisters Unchained, Lowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCK, Transformational Prison Project, and Young Man with a Plan

Sisters Unchained - Empowering Young Women & Girls with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents 


Sisters Unchained (SU) is a prison abolitionist non-profit organization dedicated to supporting young women and girls with incarcerated or formerly incarcerated parents. They are a refuge space where young women can focus on loving and improving themselves and their communities in the way these young women see fit.

After the Accelerator program, Sisters Unchained (SU) envisions a bold future, beginning with a new community space created through a collaborative fundraising campaign with Resist and other partners, expanding its team with alumni coordinators and securing funds from organizations like New Commonwealth Fund and individual donors such as Someone Else’s Child and The AKLU Foundation.

The Accelerator journey illuminated SU's successes, notably its strategic partnerships and the unwavering support from in-kind partners like Promus+ Consulting. As SU charts its course, the organization relies on volunteers and donors for ongoing support, leveraging grassroots efforts like canvassing and door-knocking campaigns. SU's impact is tangible, evident in metrics like serving nearly 200 program participants, providing essential rides for families to visit loved ones who are incarcerated, supporting 25 girls through their summer program, engaging hundreds in community events, and raising public awareness through advocacy initiatives.

With a budget of $500K and a growing staff with 2 former youth participants joining the team this year, SU remains resolute in its mission to empower and uplift young girls and their families affected by incarceration. Their journey underscores the transformative power of community support and strategic partnerships in breaking barriers and fostering resilience among those striving to rebuild their lives.


Lowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCK - Propelling Youth Advocacy Programs


Lowell Community Health Center’s Teen BLOCK is a fully funded after-school youth program that provides an inclusive and brave space for youth to bring their ideas to life while working in community with their peers and trusted adult allies.

During their time in the Accelerator, Lowell Community Health Center Teen BLOCK achieved remarkable successes, including staff expansion and vital technological upgrades facilitated by generous donations. Its collaboration with MassHire Career Center of Lowell, Student Speaks and local public schools has opened new opportunities for youth empowerment and advocacy. Additionally, program volunteers and fundraising efforts have sustained and expanded Teen BLOCK's impactful programs. Securing significant funding, including a $108,000 grant for substance use prevention by the Department of Public Health, reinforces Teen BLOCK's ability to guide young people toward safer, healthy, and fulfilling lives.

Teen BLOCK presents many avenues through which you can sustain your support for the organization. This summer, Teen BLOCK is hosting a youth-led violence prevention event called Dance for Peace on August 8 at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium at 7:00 pm. Save the date and look out for more information when it becomes available. 

Your generous donation can also make a significant impact: 

  • A donation of $500 affords a young individual the transformative experience of a life-changing retreat amidst the serene New Hampshire woods.
  • A contribution of $100 helps support scholarships for deserving youths, empowering them to pursue higher education beyond high school.
  • For $50, you can provide access to enriching arts activities, enabling young participants to explore their identities through creative expression. 

As evidenced by its significant growth, Teen BLOCK's impact is profound, with increased program participation (seeing a 90% increase since reopening after COVID) and successful outcomes in areas like reproductive health education, leadership development, and positive youth development. With unwavering community support and a dedicated team, Teen BLOCK continues to stand out as a symbol of compassion and resilience, guiding young people toward a brighter future. 


Transformational Prison Project (TPP)- Restoring Justice through Community Empowerment 


Transformational Prison Project’s mission is to provide spaces where those who have been harmed and those who have done the harming can come together and engage in dialogue—to build understanding and empathy toward those who have been victims of violent crime. TPP is committed to understanding individual harms and the systemic harms that affect communities, more specifically communities of color. 

Transformational Prison Project’s (TPP’s) participation in the Accelerator program was transformative by having access to opportunities like executive coaching through SIF. As the organization continues to grow and collaborate on initiatives such as the Dare to Dream with fellow SIF Innovator Sisters Unchained, TPP bridges gaps between incarcerated individuals and system-impacted youth, offering transformative experiences and opportunities through their program. 

TPP's looks to the future with ambitious goals, including securing 501(c)(3) status, expanding restorative justice programs into correctional institutions, and fostering partnerships with higher education institutions for incarcerated individuals' educational opportunities. TPP has celebrated many successes, from elevating the management director to a full-time position, to running successful programs in Washington, D.C., showcasing TPP's reach and capacity beyond its home base. Support for TPP comes in various forms, with funding to prioritize staff compensation and stipends for formerly incarcerated individuals to engage in Restorative Justice Programming and circle facilitation alongside TPP staff.

The organization’s impact is evident in the numbers, with engagement with over 80 youth participants in Suffolk County/Boston and 30 in the Northeastern Region, alongside restorative justice initiatives in correctional facilities and collaborative programs with esteemed academic institutions. Across TPP’s various programming, the organization works with about 200 formerly incarcerated or system-impacted adults who have re-entered their communities, as well as many community members. As TPP continues its transformative journey, it remains a beacon of resilience and hope, reshaping narratives and building bridges toward a more equitable and compassionate society.

Young Man with a Plan (YMWAP) - Shaping the lives of Boston’s Black and Latino teens for a brighter future 


Young Man with a Plan (YMWAP) delivers holistic mentoring that helps young Black and Latino men in Boston make academic and SEL gains and access sustainable futures. We achieve this through research-informed strategies of connecting youth to caring adults; strengthening youth academic, social-emotional, critical thinking, and financial literacy skills; individualized success planning; quality partnerships; and creating a protective community.

Through participation in the Accelerator program, Young Man with a Plan (YMWAP) gained invaluable insights and strategic direction, accelerating its growth trajectory. With a newfound 501(c)(3) status, the organization is focused on building robust systems and expanding 8th grade, wellness, near-peer mentorship, and career exploration programs to empower young men with the skills and resources they need to succeed.

YMWAP secured over $200,000 in funding and forged key partnerships, propelling projects such as building staff and securing a new space in Hyde Park. With quadrupled space and a growing presence in the community, YMWAP's impact reverberates far and wide. Metrics highlight YMWAP's reach and influence, with 143 students, 116 alumni, and a dedicated team of 18 mentors, setting the stage for continued growth and success.

As YMWAP approaches its 10th anniversary in 2025, sustainability and growth remain at the forefront of its agenda, ensuring its enduring impact on generations to come. YMWAP continues to shape the leaders of tomorrow, one young man at a time, reaffirming its commitment to closing gaps and building a brighter future for all. 

Read part 1 of this blog series