PBHA’s Annual Fall Appeal is Here

Amy Hao and Connie Cheng, PBHA's Resource Development Co-Chairs share their PBHA story for this years fall appeal.

DEAR FRIENDS OF PBHA,

Remember your late-night, life-changing conversations in Phillips Brooks House? While the faces and the programs may have changed over the years, you can rest assured that PBHA’s ability to transform lives is as unwavering as ever.

We are Amy and Connie, PBHA’s fundraising officers and both directors of Chinatown programs. Like you, we have greatly benefitted from PBHA’s dual mission of serving local communities and fostering student leadership.

CONNIE: Serving as an officer has given me—and generations of PBHAers before me—a hands-on crash course in running a nonprofit. My leadership has been shaped through my work on the officer team—whether facilitating meetings, engaging alumni, or contributing to PBHA’s long-term vision. Our officer team has been excited to welcome a new youth homeless shelter and revitalize the structure of Cabinet. In addition to governing PBHA, directors now actively participate in semester-long, issuebased working groups, wrestling with everything from immigration reform to education policy. Our officer team has also been spearheading the creation of PBHA community-based committees. As you and I know firsthand, the kind of student leadership cultivated at PBHA is adaptable, patient, and humble. At PBHA, you learn to work toward lasting change by actively and thoughtfully partnering with communities. Strengthening those partnerships requires coordination between the various PBHA programs serving the same communities, and I am happy to report that the Chinatown Committee has been reestablished in time for its 40th anniversary this year, along with committees in Cambridge, Dorchester, Mission Hill, Roxbury, South Boston, and the South End.

AMY: In addition to serving on the officer team, Connie and I are both Stride Scholars. For more than 30 years, the Stride Scholars Program has made it possible for PBHAers like us to deepen our commitment to service by providing us with financial assistance, leadership development, mentorship, and opportunities for reflection. Connie and I joined Stride after spending our freshman summer with Chinatown Adventure, one of PBHA’s 12 Summer Urban Program (SUP) camps. You can probably imagine how anxious we were to step into a classroom of ten children without having taught before! Luckily for us, PBHA recently piloted a classroom coaching program that invites master teachers—SUP alumni now teaching in local public schools—back to camp to observe us and offer invaluable feedback. Their coaching helped all of us improve the quality of our curriculum, the way we managed our classrooms, our relationships with our campers, right down to the look and feel of the classroom spaces themselves. That guidance has in turn strengthened PBHA’s youth programming across the board, as we apply the lessons from the summer to our work as tutors and mentors during the school year. That’s not the only way alumni are reconnecting with PBHA! Former PBHAers have returned to mentor current volunteers through our Alumni Mentoring Program. They have also shared their wisdom with students in the annual Advocacy and Organizing Intensive, a seven-session course that equips participants with the theory behind social justice work and concrete tools for social change.

“PBHA is a model of what a student service organization should be. Its example is a reminder that there are more important things in life than making money, and that all of us can do more.” – Jonathan Alter ’79

With a Gift of:

$100, you cover the cost of intensive training for a new PBHA student leader in nonprofit management

$250, you provide a week’s worth of food for guests at one of PBHA’s two homeless shelters, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter and Y2Y Harvard Square

$500, you ensure that mentors in one of PBHA’s mentoring programs can travel to meet with their mentees, providing enrichment opportunities and social, emotional, and educational support for the whole school year

$1,000, you ensure that an at-risk teen in the Leaders! rogram from Greater Boston can continue his or her service placement throughout the school year

Your gift to PBHA funds not only our more than 70 programs that make a difference in Boston and Cambridge but also the growth of the 1,500 student volunteers that run those programs and the organization as a whole. Any amount is greatly appreciated, and gifts of $250 or more will be recognized in next year’s Annual Report. For your convenience, we have included a donation envelope, or you may choose to donate online at pbha.org/donate. PBHA has been a life-changing experience for all the students who have walked through the front door of the Phillips Brooks House, which speaks to the power of PBHA’s unique student-run model. From making highlevel decisions that impact the organization to interacting with the constituents we serve year-round, we learn from community members and alumni every day. PBHA has been developing life-long public service leaders for more than 100 years, and with your support, we can ensure that this continues for years to come!

Sincerely,

Amy Hao & Connie Cheng

PBHA Resource Development Co-Chairs 

To view the PDF version of the appeal click here.