9th Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2011

Michael Dukakis with Jessica Clark, Junior Brookline High School; Maria Floros, Junior Brighton High School; Special Grubb, Junior Fen way High School; Tucker Gaye, Senior Boston Latin Academy; Thechena Theodore, Junior Cambridge Rindge and Latin School.


6th Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2008

Back row: (Left to right) Alex Torres, Ian Ding, Moira McCrave-Carragee, Councilor Mark Ciommo, Councilor John Connolly, Owen Howell, Melissa Bennett, and Leah Buckley. Front row: (Left to right) Jennifer Tran, Samantha McGilvray, Program Coordinator Adrienne Andry, Rachel Knoll, and Jasmine Clark.
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5th Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2008

Back left to right: Julius Jones, Patrick Costello, Eric Santana, Matthew Tabor Kimm, Andrew Badger, Michelle Diaz, Johnson Madamidola
Front left to right : Adrienne Andry, Ivory White, Elizabeth Ko, Yelithza M. Galvez, Katelyn Gordon
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4th Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2007:

Front (L to R): Samantha Barkowski, Robert Moody, Jr., Chiuba Obele, Kevin DePina
Back (L to R): Ann Walsh(Program Manager), Jessy Coty, Elizabeth Zappala, Mayor Menino, Anniella Subadar, Cam Dung Le, Andrea Howard (CEO, The West End House Boys & Girls Club)
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3rd Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2006:

L to R Rachael Lewis, Brooke Rose,
Mayor Menino, Rachel Buckley, Sirae
Richardson, Anim Aweh, Ann Walsh,
Bundiht Pankam

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2nd Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2005:

(L to R): Rep. Kevin Honan, Eloy Sanchez, Shatara Rutledge, Dawnn Jaffier, Kimberly Moreta, Aoife Martin, Ainsley Castro, Ann Walsh (WEH staff), Michael Bianchi,
Clare Honan-Coughlin

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1st Annual Brian J. Honan
Fellowship 2004:

From left to right: State Representative Kevin Honan, Keith Gillis, Steve Syvilay, Luis Lopez, Leo Law, Ann Walsh (guest teacher), Jian Ying Huang, Osmin Montero, Katie Carney, Kristin Pineo

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The Brian J. Honan Fellowship
at the West End House Boys & Girls Club

Building Commitment to Community

Program Background
In July 2002, the City of Boston and the Allston-Brighton community lost one of its shining stars when City Councilor Brian Honan passed away unexpectedly at the age of thirty-nine.

In an effort to memorialize him, the West End House Boys & Girls Club in Allston, with the support of Councilor Honan’s friends and family members, developed a program for young people that will perpetuate his memory and continue his life’s work of public service.

The Honan Fellowship is an initiative that empowers youth from across Boston to become engaged and influence change in their community, develop leadership skills, and stimulate an interest in public service.   Fellows learn about government and politics, identify neighborhood concerns, complete service projects, and meet with public officials and advocates.  The program includes a paid summer internship in a community agency or government office and ends with a community action project to create change in Boston.

Fellows will be interviewed and selected around December and will attend orientation in January.  From January to June, participants will attend weekly workshops at the West End House to discuss policy, access to services, and community challenges and visit the State House and City Hall.  Students will complete summer internships and lead a community action project in the fall to complete the program.

Program Goals
It is our objective that the Honan Fellows complete the program with a deeper understanding of the role of government in their community, be exposed to the issues surrounding the marginalized members of their community, and feel empowered, through their experience and identification of resources, to create change in their neighborhoods.

Program Components
Fellows are selected through an application and interview process. They are identified through outreach to teachers, guidance counselors, and youth development professionals. Fellows are students in their second or third years of high school and are residents of Boston. The application establishes that a successful candidate for the program would show evidence of leadership potential through everyday actions: Honan Fellows are not necessarily student government officers, but may participate in various student, athletic and community service activities. During the interview process, youth are asked to define the qualities of a strong leader, and to identify the traits they possessed that would help them lead in the future.. A majority of the youth described themselves as "having a strong voice with something important to say" but had yet to find an outlet for their expression.

The Honan Fellowship requires a strong commitment from the youth chosen to participate in the program. Weekly meetings, service projects, and participation in reflection activities are required. Core components of the program are:

Group sessions
Over the course of the program, the fellows participate in weekly workshops. The content covers the spectrum of government, service, and professionalism.

Topics include:
Community – Fellows discuss what it means to be a part of a community and complete a community mapping project. Fellows identify a community issue that is important to them. This issue provides context for future discussions on public service and government.

Public service – The power to improve the conditions in a community through service are explored. Students prepare for their own public service experiences by researching issues surrounding homelessness, the elderly, affordable housing, and families.

Government – Federal, state, and local government structures are reviewed. Fellows discuss the city and state budgets, have an understanding of spending priorities and allocations, and travel to City Hall and the State House to meet elected officials.

Media and the arts – Many artists, musicians, and journalists have influenced the political process. The Fellows are exposed to various forms of political media and discuss their history and effects.

Fellows participate in service activities in a variety of ways. Four service projects are mindful of the causes City Councilor Honan was passionate about: the elderly; the homeless; strong families; and quality, affordable housing. Readings, discussions, and guest speakers provide the youth with the context for designing a service project, and they extend their experience through group reflection activities. In addition, fellows have a service commitment to the West End House Boys & Girls Club of a minimum of four hours per month. Opportunities to read with younger children, translate school documents for immigrant families, help run a game tournament, or accompany a field trip are available.

Fellows are required to keep a journal of their experiences in the program. The use of poetry, sketches, speeches, and cartoons as journal entries are encouraged.

Fellows participate inbi-weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions with a program staff member. In-depth discussions about program issues, homework assistance, and journal review are all possible during this time.

The Honan Fellows participate in several trainings aimed at strengthening their leadership and professional skill set. Sessions on public speaking, with opportunities to practice and hone their craft, are presented. Youth are also prepared for their internships with sessions on professionalism, money management, and college preparation.

Fellows have a paid, 35-hour per week internship for the summer. This internship serves as an opportunity to ‘put theory into practice’ as fellows utilize their knowledge about the pressing issues in their community, appropriate political contacts, and to learn in the most effective way possible—through experience. During weekly meetings, fellows can share the frustrations and successes of their professional experiences while discussing the community issues that they are ‘tackling’ on a daily basis.

We are fortunate to partner with a variety of organizations and agencies that enrich the program curriculum and provide opportunities for our fellows to create a network for change.

Partners include organizations such as Harvard University, the Boston Private Industry Council, , MassVote, Allston-Brighton Community Development Corporation, Suffolk County DA, Roxbury District Court, Friends of Boston’s Homeless, Healthcare for the Homeless, The City School, The Veronica Smith Center, and Habitat for Humanity through financial support, guest speaking, internship hosts, or service opportunities.

Evaluation is a critical process for the Honan Fellowship, ensuring that the program is meeting its program goals and continuously improving. Interviews are conducted in the initial mentoring meetings to assess the knowledge base of the fellows as they enter the program. Attendance and participation are logged. Evaluations are conducted at the end of each session with the group, and again in the one-on-one meetings. Fellows are encouraged to suggest modifications to the curriculum. As the year progresses, it is essential for the program staff to meet with key program stakeholders, including the youth, community partners, and parents, to obtain feedback. Year-end post-tests and overall program reviews from the fellows inform curriculum, internship, and service decisions for the following years.

Learn more by calling The West End House at 617-787-4044

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