Achievements and milestones

Board of Directors




Home** About us

Our mission

Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) is a community-based non-profit organization. Our mission is to help youth caught in cycles of poverty, victimization, and violence to transition successfully to adulthood.

RYI first started to help decrease recidivism among young men and women from the Roxbury District Court. Today we serve youth up to 22 years of age in Boston's juvenile justice or child welfare system with innovative supportive programs.

RYI services

Our values have been designed to govern agency-wide interactions, communication, and our work is based on the following seven principles:


Since 1981, Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) has provided community-based non-residential services to youth. RYI currently provides programming in five locations through our Community Network Centers and the Court Clinic.

Services include:
individual and group counseling
peer leadership/education
alternative education programs (GED, Angell Street School)
leadership development
psycho-social groups;
anger management
moral reasoning
violence prevention
young/fathers/men/women groups, etc.,
and educational/cultural recreation activities and events

Read more about our programs...


Judge Julian Houston, founder of Roxbury Youthworks
Founders Judge Julian Houston and Hubie Jones

RYI is one of the oldest minority-based organizations in the City of Boston. Conceptualized and then initiated by Justice Julian T. Houston in 1981, RYI first helped decrease recidivism among young men and women from the Roxbury District Court. Today, RYI provides community-based supports, positive alternatives, advocacy, and an array of social services to young people and their families with strategic state partnerships. We are most known as:

  • the sole service provider of all of Boston's District Offices with the Department of Youth and Families (DYS);
  • the Lead Agency for the Dimock Street Area Office for the Department of Children and Families (DCF);
  • a provider of all of Boston's life coaches for The GIFT Program with DCF.

For thirty years RYI's focus has been to assist at-risk/high-risk youth and their families who are struggling to overcome life challenges. Our greatest achievement is the number of youth served successfully who have gone on to cultivate positive relationships with families, schools and communities. Each year RYI assists over 450 youth as well as hundreds of extended family members.

[more history...]

Organizational Structure

We have a staff of 38 people; 3 programs; and 8 sites. RYI operates programs across the City of Boston: three each in Roxbury and Dorchester and one each in Hyde Park and Chelsea. Our staff is multi-cultural and multi-lingual reflecting the culture and language of the youth and families we serve. Many reside in the same communities in which we operate and where our youth live and go to school. The 38-member staff and 3 programs are overseen by Executive Director Mia Alvarado and Deputy Director Diana Thompson. In addition, RYI receives strategic, fiscal and executive oversight from its diverse Board of Directors.