New England Real Estate Journal (NEREJ) August 19, 2016 – The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. Summer Works Program today celebrated its inaugural class of participants, highlighting youth painting homes at Harvard Commons; a new diverse community of 54 homes in Dorchester developed by Cruz Companies.
“Our motto is ‘Cruz Cares’ and our mission is giving back to the community through opportunities like our exciting new youth works program,” said John B. Cruz, III, president and CEO of Cruz Companies, the oldest and largest minority-owned construction and development firm in New England.
Cruz Companies recruited eight youth and one coordinator from the communities of Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan to participate in the program. Youth workers are between the ages of 14-18 and receive compensation for their work.
“The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. summer program has been an astonishing experience,” said Kaylin Berry-Woods (pictured), a 16-year-old student attending TechBoston Academy. “I thank Cruz Companies for giving me my first job, with an opportunity with to be a part of the administration and maintenance workforce this summer.”
The six-week program runs from July 5 – August 19, 2016, and was launched in partnership with ABCD Summer Works.
“The Cruz C.A.R.E.S. program has been such an amazing learning experience for me,” said Donell Rankins, Jr. of Roxbury, a 15-year-old student at the John D O’Bryant School of Math and Science. “Being in the environment of not only an administrative setting, but also an artistic setting, has allowed me to develop the attributes of a successful businessman, painter, and leader within society.”
Participants will also volunteer for Cradles to Crayons and participate in a financial literacy and resume writing workshop during the course of the program.
“I feel really appreciative to Cruz for giving me the opportunity to give back to my community and teaching me lessons and qualities that I will need later on in life,” said Sun Brown (also pictured), a 15-year-old student from Mattapan attending Foxborough Regional Charter School.
About Cruz C.A.R.E.S.
Cruz C.A.R.E.S. (Community, Arts, Recreational and Educational Services) is Cruz Companies’ social responsibility arm, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that exists to help Boston’s urban community. Throughout the years, Cruz C.A.R.E.S. has hosted after-school programs, summer camps, college scholarships, resident field trips and a youth holiday celebration. In addition, Cruz believes that a real estate development should provide economic opportunities for the people in the community, including:
- Increasing affordable housing opportunities
- Providing good jobs to area residents
- Hiring other minority businesses through subcontracts
- Building sustainable communities through economic development