Uphams Corner was the site of the first of the original Puritan settlements in Dorchester in 1630. The community has also been a pioneer in organizing residents to face the challenges of youth violence.
Uphams Corner began the journey of shaping the computer model of Boston’s youth violence system in the Fall of 2008. The Uphams Corner Design Team consisted of youth, residents and staff connected to Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative, Bird Street Community Center and Dorchester Bay Economic Development Center. In collaboration with model builder Steve Peterson, Project Manager Khary Bridgewater and Community Liaison Paul Bothwell, the group developed the theoretical framework behind the model and made foundational decisions around the movement of youth within the system. When the initial prototype of the model was released in the spring of 2009, the Uphams Corner Design Team gave critical input concerning everything from underlying logic to ways agencies would use the model.
Here's what people from Uphams Corner say about creating a computer model of how youth violence works:
“The model becomes a tool that can be used by people who weren’t in the planning process. Folks in the community can sit down and talk about youth violence together. Anything that would help create a way for people to come to an understanding of the root causes of youth violence would be helpful. Creating tools that people could use that help us think beyond the knee jerk response.” --Design Team Member, staff at a community organization
“I think through the course of discussion, we have talked about what is the affect of different strategies in the long range, 5 or 10 years from now. We are talking about future outcomes that will minimize youth violence. We are talking about who to work with - the school system, the police department, churches - in order to implement systems that will minimize youth violence in the community.” --Design Team Member, staff at a community organization