Our Blog

Welcoming a New Executive Director

i Dec 31st No Comments by

December 2015

Dear Margaret Fuller House Friends,

As we head into 2016, we have some terrific news: the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House has a new Executive Director! Christina Alexis comes to us with more than a decade of experience in the non-profit world, and with a deep appreciation for the history of the House and its role in The Port.

Christina steps into the position following the retirement of Barbara Kibler, whose leadership brought the MFNH from troubled times to the flourishing organization it is today. The Board of Directors is indebted to Barbara for her years of hard work and dedication, and looks forward to building on her legacy, and strengthening the House even further, through Christina’s leadership.

In selecting Christina, the Board completed a rigorous three-month process involving a seven-person board committee, as well as input from staff and community members. With experience in both the non-profit world as well as the private sector, Christina stood out for her vision, her leadership skills, her creativity, and her commitment to making our historic settlement house the very best partner to The Port it can be.

Christina’s experience in both management and fundraising make her well suited to lead the MFNH. At Northeastern University, where she began her career, Christina opened a new Alumni Center, and built the foundation for a successful alumni program. Over the next decade, she served in increasingly senior level roles, contributing her expertise to community service and health and human service organizations, including City Year, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Year Up. At the Dimock Center, where she served as Director of Development, External Relations, and Government Relations, Christina launched a multi-million dollar capital campaign.

The Board looks forward to formally introducing Christina to you, our community, in an event sometime this winter. In the meantime, please stop by and say hello. Christina’s first day as Executive Director is January 4. And with that, a new era at the historic Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House begins.

With all of our best wishes for a happy, healthy New Year – and many thanks, as always, for your support.

Mauricio Gomez

President of the Board

Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House

Job Announcement: Executive Director

i Sep 2nd No Comments by
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Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House
Job Announcement
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 
 
The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House is an historic and vibrant community-based organization in Cambridge that provides resources and support to more than 4,000 people annually.  Our mission is to strengthen and empower youth, families and community residents, and to address the economic, social and political inequities that shape the lives and futures of Port/Area IV residents. 
 
A fixture in the community since 1902, the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) is now looking for a new Executive Director to strengthen our foundation and lead us into the future. She/he will be a strategic thinker, a collaborative leader, an exceptional communicator, and a strong advocate for and alongside the Port/Area IV community.  
 
The new Executive Director will work closely with a strong Board of Directors to implement MFNH’s mission and strategic goals. She/he will manage daily operations and provide oversight for a range of programs: a busy food pantry, enrichment programs for youth and seniors, a drop-in technology center, community outreach and organizing, and a variety of community partnerships.  Key responsibilities include financial management, fundraising and sustainability, program development, community engagement, strengthening of partnerships, and advocacy for low-income Port/Area IV residents in particular. 
 
The ideal candidate possesses: 
 
  • A strong background in community leadership, with an emphasis in working with an ethnically diverse urban population
  • A proven track record for relationship building among different stakeholders
  • Expertise in fundraising in an evolving non-profit  landscape
  • Experience in nonprofit management, including strong collaboration with Board of Directors
  • Familiarity with the needs and institutions of Cambridge or non-profit work experience in a similar environment  
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt an organization to the evolving needs of its constituency
  • Capacity to work in a demanding, fast-paced environment while collaborating and keeping the organization’s mission and goals in view
 
Diverse candidates from the Port/Area IV Community and Cambridge are encouraged to apply.  
 
Job description details are available at: https://goo.gl/bsNnUE  
  
Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis and interviews will begin in early October. To apply, send a resume, cover letter and questions or inquiries to:  EDsearch@margaretfullerhouse.org
 
The MFNH is an Affirmative Action, equal opportunity employer.  We do not discriminate on the basis of age, ethnicity, gender, nationality, religious belief, or sexual orientation.

LIT’s Reflect on their Summer

i Aug 26th No Comments by

As the summer draws to an end, the Leaders in Training took some time out to write reflections about their experiences in the program.

 Some of the LITs mentioned what they learned working with the kids and how they grew:

“I learned that at the end of the day, respect is better than being the kids’ favorite.”

“Through the LIT experience I’ve learned that patience and self-control were the most important aspects for me. Patience helped me work better with the kids and self-control helped me seem more mature towards them. These two aspects as an LIT helped me grow as a person.”

Keke Dorsainvil

vicky

 “I think I did grow this summer. I developed relationships with kids of all ages and learned how they see everything, which was pretty fun because their perspectives are way different than ours.”

Vicky Angeles

 

 

 

sahhi

“Something that was great about this summer was spending time with the kids. I say this because I love those kids. They’re fun and energetic. Even though sometimes they don’t listen they are still good kids. I love going to work knowing that I get to play with the kids. That is what made my summer great.”

Sahhi Puckerin

 

 

Heizy

“This summer I grew to be more patient because for two weeks I worked with the 9-12 age group and they were a lot to handle. They were a lot to handle because that age group is close to our age and we have to be a little bit more mature and have boundaries with the children. That was a good way to help me be more patient because you always have to know when to play and when to be serious.”

Heizy Mejia

marzuq

“One of the things I learned this summer was controlling my anger. From working here, I think I got more open-minded.”

“The best part of this camp is meeting new kids and understanding their character traits. My favorite experience was playing sports with the kids.”

Marzuq Puckerin

 

They reflected on their field trips with the kids:

kiana

“My favorite experience this summer was going to the Aquarium with the kids and seeing how fascinated and engaged they were looking at the fish and different sea animal life.”

Kiana Laws

 

 

They also reflected on their own field trips: (SkyZone, Laser Tag, Movies-Jurassic World, Watercountry)

Nellisa

“We use the money we raised from the LIT Bashments to help us go on these trips, and not only did we raise the money through our hard work (and those who contributed), but we had fun doing it also!”

Nellisha Leonce

 

 

“Some field trips were the first time I went/did something. It was really fun doing the field trips with the kids and to be able to experience new things.”

Vicky Angeles

And how the summer went overall:

haley“I really liked the aspect of teamwork in the LIT program- working together and doing everything as a team.”

Haley Favreau

 

 

 

 

“Overall I think that this summer was filled with new experiences and successes and I’m glad I was a part of it.”

Kiana Laws

 

The L.I.T. Summer Bashment

i Aug 4th No Comments by

Over the course of 2 weeks, a group of aspiring leaders know as the Leaders in Training Crew over at the Margaret Fuller House planned, organized and hosted Margaret Fuller’s first ever teen party on July 23rd, 2015. With the help of Niah Carvalho, the assistant supervisor of the LITs, and Jenny Levine, the main supervisor of these leaders, they were able to raise nearly $800 at the famous “L.I.T Summer Bashment”. The LITs sold almost 100 tickets and had over 150 teens from all over Eastern Massachusetts paying to get in at the door to dance to the amazing mixes by Maxwell Elgart, also known as DJ Mad Max. They were also assisted by a few other counselors of the MFNH Summer Program staff with chaperoning. The bashment brought the teens of the community together in fun and turned out to be a booming success.

The reactions of the teenagers after the party were maybe the best part of it all. 15 year-old, Peterlee Dorlelan, said on the Facebook page for the event, “The party was a blast!”  Karenah Harewood called it, “a LITuation” and said the “L.I.T crew did a great job.” Quincy West said, “this party was lit and it was a great turn up. You will be seeing me at the next one.”

So, why did the LITs throw this party anyways? Well, the young leaders were aspiring to go on many field trips to reward themselves for all the hard work they do around the MFNH such as working with the children in the summer program, cleaning the program and also assisting with all the major events of the organization. They wanted to be able to make money and have fun. Now that they’ve raised this money, they’re able to go on amazing trips and do amazing activities at places such as Laser Quest, Canobie Lake and maybe even Six Flags.

Written by Niah Carvalho

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Port Street Worker Position Available

i Apr 21st No Comments by

MFNH logoDear Colleagues and Neighbors,

 

The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House in collaboration with the Port Action Group and with the support of the City of Cambridge seeks an experienced Street Worker for the Port/Area 4 neighborhood of Cambridge. The Port Street Worker will be a crucial link to young adults (17-32) not associated or connected to services and to opportunities present in the community.

 

We are seeking a person with strong interpersonal skills, an ability to work independently and someone who has extensive knowledge of the Port/Area 4 and of available Cambridge and other resources. This is a full time position and requires flexible work hours evenings, weekends and days.

 

A committee including members of the Port Action Group, staff of the Margaret Fuller House, Port community members, and Workforce staff of the City of Cambridge will be interviewing candidates. Resumes will be accepted up until a candidate is chosen. We hope to hire someone within the next six-eight weeks.

 

Attached below is the job description for the Street Worker position. Interested candidates are invited to submit resumes as soon as possible to Barbara Kibler:  bkibler@margaretfullerhouse.org or to the MFNH, 71 Cherry St. Cambridge, 02139.

 

streetworker Job Description 2015

Executive Director Barbara Kibler Announces Her Retirement

i Apr 7th No Comments by
Dear Friends,
 
It is a year of transition at the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House.
 
After more than 11 years as executive director, Barbara Kibler has announced her retirement. We thank Barbara for her commitment, vision and leadership. Her many accomplishments include dramatically expanded programming, substantial increases in partnerships and funding, significant renovations and improvements to the house, and a more than tripling of the number of people it serves annually. Now in its 113th year, the house serves more than 4,000 families – from toddlers to senior citizens – through a wide range of programs designed to strengthen the community. Needless to say, Barbara is leaving big shoes to fill, but she has graciously agreed to stay on through this period of transition to ensure continuity in services.
 
With this transition, and the certainty of new challenges ahead, it is a natural opportunity for the board to take some time to assess the House’s role in the community and plan thoughtfully and strategically for the future. As we approach next steps, we will be seeking input from the community and our partners. We will involve community advisors in key decisions to ensure that they are made with the needs of those the House serves in clear view.
If you have any questions about the transition or our plans for the future, please do not hesitate to contact Barbara or any member of the board.
 
Sincerely,
 
Alan Schwartz
Board President
Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House

MIT’s Alternative Spring Break 2015

i Mar 31st No Comments by

 

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We had an incredible week with the volunteers from MIT’s Alternative Spring Break program! These remarkable students chose to spend their spring break with us, helping to finish a lot of key projects. They helped with building shelves, organizing and cleaning, database management work and even a Sweet Soul Supper mailing! They took a special interest in learning about the Port/Area IV neighborhood, about some of the children and older people in the community, and about how small non-profit community centers like the Margaret Fuller House operate. They brought a lot of positive energy and a special enthusiasm to the house that the kids and staff really benefited from. We wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavors and hope to see them at the Fuller House again soon!

 

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A Message from the Leaders in Training

i Dec 18th No Comments by

Hi Everyone!

We’re the LITs (Leaders in Training) at the Margaret Fuller House. Specifically, there’s four of us writing this together, and our names are Christelle, Heizy, Mariysa, and Haley. We’re all 13 or 14, and some of us have been coming to the House since we were almost babies (or like 6 years old).

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So Mark, our Director, asked us if we could write a little bit about what our experience at the Margaret Fuller House has been like. He wants to try to convince you that it’s worth it to give money to the Fuller House during the holidays. We have to agree! We came up with some questions we thought you might want to know about the Fuller House, and some answers we have to give.

What makes the Margaret Fuller House Special?
It has an old vibe, and is really a family place. It’s a house, and it really feels like a home. It’s also a place where it doesn’t matter about your skin color, or your background. Everyone is welcome here! It doesn’t matter where you come from, it matters where you’re trying to get to. It’s a place where kids and adults can grow together.

What makes kids stay here so long and become leaders in training?
The kids actually want to come here. It has tons of opportunities, like Girls Group and Boys Group, Strong Women Strong Girls, STEAM Team and Leaders in Training. For the kids, it makes doors open for them. Unlike at school, the teachers actually act like they want to be here. If you make one mistake in school, suddenly that’s what you are. At Margaret Fuller House, they are forgiving. Every day is a new day. For LITs like us, it’s the kind of education you don’t really get in school.

Why should strangers give their money to the Margaret Fuller House?

If the strangers were in the same situation that many of the people here are in, they would want people to give to the house too.

If you want to DONATE, please go to: http://www.razoo.com/story/Mfnh-End-Of-Year-Wishes

So this is the first letter we’re writing. Mark asked us to send you one or two more before the holidays. We hope that you’ll really think about what we’ve been saying, and think about giving to the Fuller House!

Peace and Happy Holidays!

Christelle, Haley and Heizy 

 

Our Neighborhood’s Needs Featured in the Boston Sunday Globe

i Dec 11th No Comments by

The Boston Globe featured our neighborhood- and the Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House- on its Sunday front page this weekend. The article, entitled “Area Four Residents Live in the Shadow of the Future,” explores the stark inequalities in our neighborhood:

“As global pharmaceutical companies build new labs, Internet giants Google and Twitter expand, and startups snap up office space at ever-higher rents, families living in the shadow of the innovation economy are flocking to the local food pantry at three times the rate of a decade ago. The waiting list for public housing is double what it was five years ago. The beds in the Salvation Army homeless shelter on Massachusetts Avenue are always full.”

The article goes on to note:

“When executive director Barbara Kibler took over Margaret Fuller 11 years ago, the community center’s food pantry served about 400 people a month. Today, it’s about 1,200. On many days, the line stretches down Eaton Street.”

We have the power to meet the needs of our neighbors; we just need the funds. You’ll hear more from us during the holiday season- specifically, from some of the teens who grew up in the Margaret Fuller House, and so we thank you in advance for your generosity this season.

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Turkey Drive 2014!

i Dec 11th No Comments by

Thanks to the support of our neighbors and friends, we raised $7,000 and provided Thanksgiving meals to over 400 local families, a total of 22,000 pounds of food. We really had a successful Turkey Drive and we want to thank all of the fantastic volunteers who worked incredibly hard getting, moving, organizing, and giving out the food (and cleaning up)!!!   It was such an impressive day and we hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving.