South Boston Outreach Summer

PBHA's South Boston Outreach Summer, or SBOS, is part of the Summer Urban Program serving the youth of South Boston for seven weeks each summer.

Application Information:

SUP Director applications are now live. Apply to be a SUP director here.

SUP Senior Counselor Applications are now live. Apply to be an SC here.

Student Director Contact Information:


Staff Contact Information:

Nicole Young


Due to Covid-19, SBOS will be operating a hybrid model in Summer 2021, as outlined HERE.

Photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

PBHA’s South Boston Outreach Summer, or SBOS, offers an academic summer program for young people ages 6–13 from South Boston for seven weeks each summer.

Like all programs in the Summer Urban Program, SOBS engages youth in mornings of academic enrichment, afternoons of educational field trips, and artistic, cultural, and service-learning workshops throughout the week, along with two overnight camping trips and a day-long final trip. SBOS strives to empower youth through hands-on enrichment activities that emphasize academic confidence, conflict resolution, interdependence, prevention of risk-taking behaviors, and respect for diversity. The program places a significant focus on curricula that utilize substance abuse prevention and service-learning to support the academic achievement and positive youth development of our participants and combat historically widespread issues endured by the South Boston community.

SBOS began in 1989 when Theresa Finn, a Harvard student who had grown up in South Boston, founded an adult tutoring program for mothers. She had volunteered at Julie’s Family Learning Program, a neighborhood-based family support and education program, when she realized that more programming was needed, particularly during the summer. She turned to Suzanne Panico, another Harvard student from South Boston, to create a summer program that would allow the women being tutored to attend full-time programming by alleviating the need for day care during summer vacation. Since its founding, SBOS has provided a continuum of service to the residents in and around South Boston’s three public housing developments: Mary Ellen McCormack, Old Colony, and West Broadway.


SBOS, like all programs in the Summer Urban Program, is run by college students who serve as directors and senior counselors, or teachers, in the program.

Directors oversee all program operations, working through the spring and summer to train and supervise program staff, manage finances, and ensure high program quality. Learn more about directing SBOS.

Senior counselors manage a classroom of 10 children throughout the summer, implementing a self-designed academic curriculum, supervising field trips and community service projects, and supporting the operations of their program. Learn more about working as a senior counselor.

In addition to its college-age staff, SBOS employs high school students as junior counselors. Teens partner with a senior counselor to co-teach a class and participate in leadership workshops throughout the summer. The majority of SUP’s junior counselors once attended the same program in which they work; many junior counselors at SBOS were once participants in the program. Learn more about working as a junior counselor.


SBOS costs only $50 per participant, with a sliding scale for siblings. Preference is given to returning participants and children who have particular academic or financial need for the program.

Families should submit one participant application for each child who wishes to enroll in the program.

Learn More