The History of our organization.
Dorchester is Boston’s largest and most diverse neighborhood, representing large Irish, Vietnamese and Cape Verdian populations. Of Boston neighborhoods, Dorchester has the second highest rate of child poverty at 39.2 percent, according to a Health of Boston’s Children report released by the Boston Public Health Commission in 2013. Several Dorchester neighborhoods are considered gang “hotspots” by the Boston Police. At ADSL, we provide at-risk youth an alternative to gang activity and other risky behaviors, where they can excel in sports, build self-esteem, and engage with positive role models and mentors.
ADSL began in 1983 in response to racial violence and growing racial tension in the neighborhood. ADSL was created to provide neighborhood youth of all races and ethnicities with a space for reconciliation and the opportunity to be on the same team, instead of seeing one another as adversaries.
Originally, ADSL was exclusively a youth sports organization. ADSL’s mission changed in 1997 when ADSL added an education resource center (ERC) for tutoring and academic guidance. In 2008, ADSL expanded once again to offer fitness and nutrition education.
In 2013 we have a strong and diverse board, a dedicated Executive Director, and several programs that are highly valued by our participants, their parents, and the larger community. Currently, the overall numbers of youth served by all of ADSL’s programs is about 600 per year (up from 500 in 2012). Our goal is to serve up to 750 youth per year through programs which are relevant in today’s social context—including health and nutrition, physical fitness, and educational advancement.
Since 1983, All Dorchester Sports & Leadership has addressed a wide variety of community needs through sustainable projects with direct service at their core. Examples include the following initiatives:
Establishing sports leagues that have been fundamental to cultivating a lasting passion for sports and physical activity in Dorchester youth.
Developing fitness programs to provide year-round physical activity and fitness goals.
Engaging kids in our Tutoring and Enrichment program to provide academic support during this highly developmental stage in children's lives.
Launching Fit Kitchen nutrition programs to make healthy meals easy and accessible.
ADSL not only provides services today to those in need, but produces volunteers and community activists who have the passion and direction to continue to give back throughout the rest of their lives.