From families

“[My son] really enjoyed the program and felt comfortable…I think it’s wonderful that a program exists like this in this area.” –Caregiver of boy, age 7

“How can I explain? Just the way they treated my daughter. So much respect, love, and communication. She wasn’t afraid to be herself and try new things, to be herself and speak her mind [like] she was before…My daughter loves the program. If she loves it, I love it.” – Caregiver of girl, age 8

“[My daughter’s] self-esteem got better from BYS…she learned how to control her anger. [One of the therapists] helped [her] to express herself and communicate her emotions.” –Caregiver of girl, age 11

“[My daughter] was able to make new friends and have a safe environment where she could talk and play.” –Caregiver of girl, age 8

“We love BYS. The space was beautiful. My daughter looked forward to her time there…I’ve never seen any program like it… I feel like BYS is extended family.” –Caregiver of girl, age 10

“[My daughter] is so excited to be at BYS. She gets very upset when she has to miss a day…The staff has been such a great blessing to our family.” –Caregiver of girl, age 8

“I see that [my daughter] comes home happy after the program…The staff at BYS is great and very understanding of the kids in the program….Friendly. Courteous. Above and beyond helpful.” –Caregiver of girl, age 8

“I think BYS is a wonderful place. It’s only been five months and I’ve seen great changes in my son…If it wasn’t for the help of BYS, [my son] might have been institutionalized…I think BYS as a whole is the best place for inner city children and the staff and the transportation people are the sweetest people I’ve met.” – Caregiver of boy, age 10

“[My son] has learned how to express his feelings…communication, expression, getting along with others both at home and at school, which he has a hard time doing. Our family overall experience with BYS has been very joyful and a peace of mind. I been able to get a lot accomplished since I joined BYS.“ –Caregiver of boy, age 10

“Our experience has been very positive. I have felt that [my son] has made major progress and growth in understanding himself and making friends… He really found adults and other children who care for him and he was comfortable enough to talk about what goes on in his head and heart.” –Caregiver of boy, age 7

“I love all of the different classes and therapeutic opportunities that are offered.” –Caregiver of boy, age 9

“BYS has been extremely beneficial to the overall well-being of our family. Specifically the treatment and care our child has received at the program has enriched our time at home with [our daughter]. [She has learned] self-control, breathing techniques, impulse control, and positive, calm conflict resolution. [BYS staff] have affected [our daughter] so profoundly and positively that she has been performing on a higher level in school, her self-image is complete…She is our confident fun loving child again! [Her therapist] has added actual, realistic, and easily attainable goals and strategies that help effectively combat [her] compulsive anxiety.” – Caregiver of girl, age 10

“[My son] has a unique bond with every staff. Communication is great; love the team aspect of services.” –Caregiver of boy, age 9

From youth

“[My best memories from BYS are] hanging out with new people and developing a brand new stage of being older. Also being listened to about my problems and knowing that they are going to be kept safe.” –BYS girl, age 11

“My best memories is how to calm myself down…No matter how far away I am I will always love BYS.” –BYS girl, age 10

[My best memories from BYS are] cooking group and discover[ing] new sights. [In the future I hope to] work at BYS.” –BYS boy, age 7

From providers/educators

“It is very clear that [my student’s] participation in his ‘after-school program,’ Boston Youth Sanctuary…represents a profoundly significant part of his life. At BYS, [he] can count on a safe and calm environment, understanding and appreciation, and engaging and meaningful enrichment activities. He also has the support of a staff that is highly-qualified, devoted, and nurturing.” –Boston Public Schools teacher

“BYS is filling the enormous gap of therapeutic after school programs in our community that are expressive art based, warm, welcoming, and supportive to the entire family.” –Early Childhood Mental Health Clinician from community health center

“BYS has been very supportive towards the family and has gone above and beyond to be supportive and meet their needs…The kids really enjoyed attending BYS and [it] was their highlight during the school year.” –Department of Children and Families (DCF) worker for BYS youth