Leaders of the sports and political world gathered in the Boston Seaport on September 19 to raise money for Boston Uncornered, an organization with an innovative approach to ending gang violence and generational urban poverty. Boston Uncornered raised $500,000 at its annual Celebration of Milestones event.
Boston Uncornered sets high expectations for gang members who are Core Influencers and have the charisma and intelligence to lead others and are willing to change their lives. “Uncornered is about believing that those closest to the challenges in our communities are the ones that we should turn to and support to make a difference,” said Boston Uncornered co-founder Mark Culliton.
Uncornered supports students with a weekly $400 stipend and empowers them to earn an education while providing mental health counseling, and educational guidance. The students work with trusted peer mentors who understand their struggle. This approach is working to end gang violence and generational urban poverty in Boston and beyond.
NFL Hall of Fame broadcaster Andrea Kremer had a moving conversation with Boston Uncornered student Sindi Pierre, who became a single mother at 16. “I have a new family now. The people at Boston Uncornered care and want to help me,” Pierre said. “No one judged me over there or looked at me like I was a done deal.” The stipend Pierre receives from Boston Uncornered helps her pay her rent, her phone bill and to meet the needs of her 10-year-old daughter.
New England Patriots Captain Devin McCourty urged people to give and personally donated $10,000 to the organization. “This money goes towards making a difference,” he said. “I think the coolest thing about my career in New England is that a lot of people will talk about me being a football player, but I hope they will talk about me being in the community helping people out and being a good person.” McCourty serves on the Advisory Board of Boston Uncornered.
Boston Chief of Planning and Director of the BPDA Arthur Jemison was named Uncornered Champion of the Year. “I’m honored and thrilled to be part of what Boston Uncornered is doing,” Jemison said. “They have the courage to be available to these young people and have a track record of being there for them.” Honorary Chair of the event Governor Charlie Baker gave Jemison a special citation to mark the occasion.
A 2020 impact study conducted by Bain & Company through Inspire Inc. found that between the time Boston Uncornered started in 2016 and 2018, incidents of crime were three times less prevalent in neighborhoods where Uncornered students were most engaged. Nine in 10 Uncornered students do not return to violent activity. Statistics also show 60% of Uncornered students matriculate to college, which is more than double the percent of gang members who go to college nationally. Boston Uncornered paid nearly three million dollars in weekly stipends to Core Influencers and the results achieved have been impressive. Each Boston Uncornered student saves the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and taxpayers at least $70,000 per year. This translates into a total savings of $5.5 million to the city of Boston.
Boston Uncornered is a solution to gang violence and systemic generational urban poverty. Launched in 2016,Boston Uncornered provides neighborhood-based mentors, college-focused education, and financial assistance in the form of guaranteed income for highly influential Core Influencers as they become positive change agents – breaking cycles of poverty and violence by transforming neighborhoods. Uncornered is poised to be a national model for using education to end systemic generational urban poverty and violence. For more information, please visit www.uncornered.org