January 2023 Newsletter

The Link

January 2023

A Message from Co-President Leslie Levenson

Happy 2023 to all our TPC members! We have an exciting year planned, and I hope this newsletter inspires you to engage in collective giving through TPC.

But first I’d like to introduce our new Co-President, Kelsea Médard. Kelsea joined TPC as a Fellow and since then has been a very active member co-chairing committees, serving on grants teams and contributing to our growth. Read about her impressive background here.

I’d like to give a very special thank you to outgoing Co-President Bridget Dunn, who led us through the challenges of the pandemic and helped implement an ambitious strategic plan. We are grateful for her leadership and continued board involvement.

Meet our new board members Lina Cañon, Tatiana Joyce, Tariana Little, Bodi Luse, Sarah Rahman, and Penny Weeks. We are thrilled to bring on members with a wealth of knowledge in different areas. Learn more about these dynamic women here

So, how will you connect with TPC this new year? Read on for the many ways you can engage, learn, and make an impact.

Upcoming Education Events

Broadening Horizons: A Philanthropy Dialogue with Cambridge Camping and Minds Matter Boston

Please join us on Thursday, February 2, 6:30-7:30PM as we welcome the Executive Directors of TPC grantees Cambridge Camping and Minds Matter Boston in a virtual conversation.

Sharon Zimmerman and Sean Effel, co-executive directors of Cambridge Camping and Rachel Cantor, executive director of Minds Matter Boston, will discuss how their programs provide youth with the skills, support and opportunities to succeed beyond the classroom.  Hear from leaders first-hand about programs that take all into account and offer vibrant experiences and mentors to youth from elementary through high school.

Get to Know Cambridge Camping
Cambridge Camping (established in 1893!) provides meaningful experiences to more than 500 children from under-resourced families each year, through summer and school year programs.

For children who find traditional classroom learning challenging, camp can be a place where they can succeed. In addition to providing general community outreach through schools, Cambridge Camping works as an agent on behalf of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to keep children safe from abuse and neglect. Its Daybreak program offers especially vulnerable children an opportunity to fully experience the benefits of summer camp. Its largest program, Adventure Day Camp, includes weekly trips to farms, museums, and beaches, in addition to more typical camp activities like art, swimming and sports. For some campers, this is the first time they have been to a Boston museum or an area farm. All programs are subsidized with sliding scale fees.

Although Cambridge Camping has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community, they have maintained a passion for equality and social justice with which they began.

How to get involved:

  • PAKORA PARTY! Join Cambridge Camping for a family-friendly, hands-on virtual event on Sunday, March 5, 5-6:30 pm. Tickets are $75/household. Register at cambridgecamping.org/events.
  • Donate through cambridgecamping.org/donate
  • Become a program partner – if you have a skill, career, or hobby, or work for an organization that campers would love to learn about, reach out! To learn more about becoming a program partner, contact Sean Effel at sean@cambridgecamping.org
Get to Know Young Man with a Plan
“The YMWAP mentors are my only role models in my life and they always show what a real man is and the things I need to do to be successful as a young Black man. They always point me and my boys in the right direction.” 


YMWAP student


To begin to understand the value of YMWAP, imagine a group of 9th and 10th grade young men of color. They live in different neighborhoods and cultures. It’s a challenging age. If they are not an academic superstar or athlete or if they are not failing in the system, they risk getting lost. 


YMWAP has created a brotherhood that builds understanding, breaks down walls, and disrupts violence. It is made up of 90+ Black and Latino teens, led by Dr. Jaykyri Simpson and a team of three full-time program staff who are adult males of color, with the support of eight mentors who are based in the participating schools. The focus is on both academic and social-emotional growth. YMWAP’s brotherhood builds community and offers sustained support, often addressing acute issues at home, in school, or in relationships.


Individualized success planning is a key benefit of Young Man with a Plan. Research shows that teens who develop a plan for post-secondary success achieve better educational and life outcomes. At YMWAP developing the Success Plan includes identifying and refining academic and extracurricular skills and interests, exploring college and career options, and setting goals.  

Along with YMWAP’s college, career, and financial literacy curriculum, success planning gives young men the knowledge, tools, encouragement, and belief in themselves to envision and pursue a successful life after graduation. Over 75% of the young men enrolled in YMWAP progress academically and 100% grow socially and emotionally. 

Did you miss the November Philanthropy Dialogue with Jaykari Simpson and Marcia Felth from Young Man with a Plan? Learn more about their inspiring work with young men in the Boston Public Schools by viewing the recording on our website.

Two Ways to Get Involved:

  • TPC hosted a dialogue with Dr. Jaykyri Simpson, Executive Director and Marcia Felth, Development Director at YMWAP. Click here to listen to their passionate commitment and program successes.
  • Volunteer opportunity – see below!



Grantee Volunteer Opportunities

Partakers Mentorship Opportunity

When: 12 weeks starting February 1, 2023

Where: Zoom, via phone, or in-person

Do you want to team up with another TPC sister to mentor a formerly incarcerated person as they overcome the challenge of re-entry? Sign up to meet someone emerging from incarceration, learn their perspective, and let them know you care and believe in them.


Young Man with a Plan Career Reference Library

When: Ongoing

Where: Over email

Young Man with a Plan is building a career reference library to help young men begin to understand the opportunities in their future. TPC professionals come from a wide range of professional backgrounds. Support YMWAP by submitting a short explanation of your current or former job!


Immigrant Family Services Institute workshops

When: Saturdays in late January to late March (Volunteer once or multiple days.)

Where: At a workshop location across Massachusetts

Former grantee Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI) is offering exciting workshops across Massachusetts. They are looking for volunteers on Saturdays, from late January to late March.


TPC Committee Leadership Openings for 2023

TPC members are not only generous with their dollars, but many help by joining standing committees. Below is a list of current openings for members wishing to take on a leadership role in one of our committees. Please contact the committee Chair by Wednesday, February 16 to express your interest.

Development Committee: Co-Chair 

Are you a passionate TPC ambassador with a systems and infrastructure background? The Development Committee is looking for a Co-Chair, and it could be you! The Committee meets for approximately one hour per month and the Co-Chair is expected to contribute an additional 4-5 hours per month. The Development Committee is a small but mighty group responsible for obtaining sponsorships and occasional grants to support TPC’s operations. Please contact Bodi Luse at bodiluse@gmail.com to express your interest or learn more.

DEI Spotlight

Diversity | Equity | Inclusion

“Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” Event Recap

Last month, a group of TPC members met on Zoom to participate in a workshop as a follow-up to TPC’s Racial Equity Challenge (REC). This interactive session helped participants apply REC learnings and principles through discussion about case studies specifically designed for TPC. Topics covered included bias, allyship, and cultural competence, and discussions provided space for members to share how they would react in scenarios or navigate difficult or uncomfortable conversations. Members also discussed how TPC can continue to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) principles through its volunteer activities and committees.

The workshop was sponsored by the consulting firm Grow By Three, and facilitated by members of TPC’s DEI Committee. We appreciate all who attended the event!

Feedback from Attendees: 

“Excellent experience! [F]ormat, pacing, case studies and facilitators were all terrific. Hope we can entice many more members to do this.”

“I appreciated a different way of using the knowledge and awareness gained from the Challenge.”

If you are interested in learning more about or joining TPC’s DEI Committee, please email Liz Sanchez (sancheze44@gmail.com).

Beyond the Check Moments

TPC member Valerie is a new mentor for a 10th grader from the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science through Minds Matter Boston. Valerie, her co-mentor and mentee, spend 2 hours every Saturday together to work through all aspects of the college process. They will continue this journey together for the next 3 years until her mentee graduates from high school and starts college. Learn more about the program and their impressive results of 100% of program graduates gaining admission to 4-year colleges



January is National Human Trafficking Awareness Month


One pervasive myth about human trafficking is that it involves kidnapping or physically forcing someone into a situation. In reality, most traffickers use psychological means such as tricking, defrauding, manipulating or threatening victims into providing commercial sex or exploitive labor. 

TPC grantee RIA, Inc. provides vital wrap-around services to individuals who have been exploited or trafficked. RIA also actively engages in related advocacy work. To learn more, visit www.readyinspireact.org

The Philanthropy Connection’s mission is to inspire and enable a community of women to learn, grow, and engage in collective giving to support nonprofit organizations that address systemic inequities impacting individuals and families within the greater Boston area.

Email: connect@thephilanthropyconnection.org
Phone: 617-544-7812

TPC members include all women who identify as cisgender, transgender, agender, gender queer, and femme. TPC welcomes everyone for whom “woman” is a meaningful identifier or experience.

TPC qualifies as a public charity under section 501(c)(3) for US tax purposes. Our EIN is #46-0665444.