Achievements and milestones

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Our mission

Roxbury Youthworks, Inc. (RYI) is a 37 year old community-based, minority non-profit organization. Our mission is to help youth caught in cycles of poverty, victimization and violence transition successfully into adulthood.

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 6 different locations in Roxbury, Dorchester, Roslindale and Chelsea.

Read more about our programs...


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

Julian Houston was appointed as the Judge of the Juvenile Session of the Roxbury District Court by Governor Michael Dukakis on January 2, 1979. At that time, the court had not heard juvenile cases for thirteen years, so a service infrastructure had to be created to meet the needs of the young people before the court. Judge Houston (ret.) appointed a small committee of professionals experienced with children's issues to advise him on how best to create a system of services for troubled children. The committee was chaired by Dean Hubie Jones of the Boston University School of Social Work. The committee met regularly for a year, and recommended that the Court create its own program to serve the needs of young people before the court. Roxbury Youthworks grew out of this recommendation.

In the early days, Roxbury Youthworks sponsored restitution programs and diversion programs for juveniles before the Roxbury court. As it became apparent that gang activity and drugs, both distribution and use, were becoming widespread, we worked to identify juveniles at risk and to refer them to appropriate agencies. With support from the Department of Youth Services, we closely monitored at-risk young people before the court, until 1993 when the state's juvenile justice system was reorganized and the Roxbury District Court no longer heard juvenile cases.

By the year 2000, with support from the Department of Youth Services, Roxbury Youthworks began to open a series of Day Reporting Programs for youth supervised by the Department of Youth Services. Today, RYI operates all of these programs in the City of Boston and is the only agency that has ever held this contract.

Organizational Structure

We have a staff of 38 people; 4 programs; and 6 sites. RYI operates programs across the City of Boston. 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. Roxbury Youthworks, Inc, is overseen by Executive Director Mia Alvarado, Deputy Director Diana Thompson, and Renee jones, Director of Programming and Human Resources. In addition, RYI receives strategic, fiscal and executive oversight from its diverse Board of Directors.