Making racial equity real, together

We talk a lot about racial equity at CHV. And it’s a term we hear all the time—it shows up in the work we do, the media we consume, the news we watch, and sometimes even at the dinner table. But what does it truly mean? And how can we make real progress towards that goal?

We’re proud of the impact our programs have in Boston, but we know we don’t have all of the answers. Far from it.

So we recently posed a big question to the people of Boston — and we plastered it on billboards and across social media. “How can we make racial equity real?”

And you responded! Not only did you respond, but you embarked on deep, meaningful discussions with those around you. We appreciated seeing so many diverse perspectives from our community — here are a few of the thoughtful answers we got:

“Learn together about how to talk to each other about racism and the history of racism in Boston.” — Giselle F.

“Build and provide access to affordable, fresh nutrient filled food in EVERY Boston community.” — Sandra K.

“We need to make sure every civic and business investment we make has racial, social, and environmental equity at its core.” — Matt K.

This is a city (and a country) with a complicated, troubling racial history. We aren’t going to reach equity overnight. But if we take concrete steps together we can keep moving in the right direction. We’re here for it. Are you with us?

New partnership with Biogen Foundation helps address social determinants of health for Boston teens and families

Camp Harbor View announced a new three-year partnership with Biogen and the Biogen Foundation to promote the wellbeing of more than 200 Boston families by helping address social determinants of health through increased food security, more equitable access to clinical mental health resources, post-secondary education, and career development pathways.

The Biogen Foundation’s support will bolster Camp Harbor View’s Family Health Initiative, a holistic approach to youth development that empowers Boston’s next generation leaders and furthers positive economic, social and health outcomes. This funding will make it possible for Camp Harbor View to connect teens and their families to greater food security, one-to-one clinical health services, social-emotional learning, and skill building and career development opportunities. As part of this relationship, participants also have the opportunity to explore the field of life sciences by visiting Biogen’s CoLab, a community space offering life science training from employees and leading local educators. The Biogen Foundation’s commitment will also establish and fund annual Biogen Scholars, awarding three graduating high school seniors with $40,000 scholarships to pursue their post-secondary plans.

“We are grateful for Biogen’s leadership on key health equity initiatives. Social emotional learning, clinical support, and food security are essential wraparound support that promote economic and social mobility,” Camp Harbor View CEO Sharon McNally said. “Partnering with, and trusting in, Boston families, this is a meaningful investment in the next generation.”

“Biogen believes that everyone deserves access to a supportive ecosystem that enables them to live the healthiest, fullest life possible,” Biogen Vice President of Asset Development and Portfolio Management and the Chair of the Biogen Foundation’s Board of Directors Teresa Cachero said. “This partnership with Camp Harbor View reflects our credo of caring deeply, and it will enable us to provide assistance in many aspects of a family’s life, from social to health.”

The partnership, inclusive of Biogen sponsorship for events, will total $500,000.

About Camp Harbor View: Established in 2007, Camp Harbor View (CHV) is a youth-centered, multi-service organization with year-round programs that address the long-term wellbeing and economic mobility of underserved Boston youth and their families. Our shared vision is an inclusive, equitable Boston where every young person and family has the opportunity and resources to succeed. To pursue this vision, we offer free, high-quality summer camp and year-round programs, nurturing deep relationships and empowering a thriving community of future leaders and their families. Additional information is available at

About Biogen Foundation: Established in 2002, the Biogen Foundation seeks to advance better health by collaborating with high-impact partners in local communities. Through the Foundation, we strive to make an impact beyond our medicines, focusing our grantmaking on equitable access to healthcare by strengthening health systems and providing access to nutritious food, a critical social determinant of health. For more information, please visit:

2023 Race Recap

We had a blast kicking off the weekend with friends – new and old – at the annual CHV Road Race! Despite a rainy start, we enjoyed the festivities with more than 500 people from this wonderful community while supporting the impactful work of Boston’s next generation leaders.

In collaboration with Dave McGillivray and DMSE Sports, the CHV Road Race is an annual fall 5K presented by the Sheehan Family Companies and Income Research + Management.

After the race, we celebrated with a beer and brunch on the Boston Common.

Here are a few photo highlights from the race. More race photos are available on Instagram and race results are published online thanks to Granite State Race Services.

Through this event we were able to raise funds to support teen leaders and their families in the year ahead — with summer camp, year-round workshops and therapy, college scholarships, guaranteed income, and more. We couldn’t do it without you. Thanks for running, working, volunteering, and partnering with us.

Finally, we’d like to recognize and thank the sponsors and partners who made yesterday’s race happen — the Sheehan Family Companies, Income Research + Management, State Street, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, the TJX Companies, G2 Capital Advisors, Publicis Sapient, IEQ Capital, JetBlue, EverybodyFights, Blue Bikes, Eastern Standard, Hilton Canopy, and DMSE.  We’re grateful to all the participants and sponsors for making the race and the festivities so much fun.

Will we see you at the start line next year? The Camp Harbor View Road Race returns to the Boston Common on Saturday, November 23, 2024. For more information visit:

Leadership Academy is back

We’re back in our school-year space in the South End and ready to launch into our 6th year of the CHV Leadership Academy. Weeknight programs and weekend workshops begin this week and we can’t wait to have young people back in the building.

With more than 200 young people in grade 9-12 participating in weekly programs, our Leadership Academy offers a wrap-around model supporting teens and their families through the year. What does this look like?

  • Grade-specific curriculum from self-discovery and team building to career exploration and college readiness 
  • Social emotional skill building and one-to-one wellness resources
  • Resource coordination and family services

In partnership with families, we seek to equip young people with the skills to succeed in high school and beyond. 

Want to see the Leadership Academy live? We’d welcome a visit, just send us a note

Beach Ball 2023: Reflecting on a special night

On Saturday, June 10, we celebrated the 2023 Beach Ball gala at the SOWA Power Station with hundreds of supporters and friends of Camp Harbor View.

Led by co-chairs Jack Connors, Jr., co-founder and chairman of Camp Harbor View, Terry Carleton of UBS, Jack Shields of Shields Health Solutions, Jane Steinmetz of EY, and a powerhouse fundraising committee, the event showcased the important work of CHV. This community is investing in a more equitable future, and it’s powerful.

Below we’re sharing the video we premiered at the event illustrating the growth and impact of CHV from three individuals who deeply believe in this work.

And you will find a full photo gallery now online from an epic evening, produced by Rafanelli Events, reflecting the many facets of CHV.

We are grateful for all who generously support Boston’s next generation leaders and their families. Together we are working to create lasting opportunity and an equitable future for our city.

CHV’s Guaranteed Income pilot project is having a transformative impact for Boston families

New data released this week by Camp Harbor View show that direct cash payments to Boston families are having a transformative impact on nearly every aspect of their lives. 

The Boston Globe covered the new data in an article on Nov. 8th — read it here.

It has been just over a year since two nonprofits, Camp Harbor View and UpTogether, teamed up to launch a privately funded $800,000 guaranteed income pilot program. The program provides 50 Boston households $7,000/year for two years, distributed in monthly payments of $583. These families are able to use the funds however they choose and do not need to pay it back.

Evaluations of survey data from the first year of the program provides strong evidence that cash payments to families helps them relieve economic stress, achieve stability, and invest in growth. The pilot also tracks a group of families who are not receiving funds in order to understand the qualitative and quantitative impact of the pilot. 

Initial data show that:

  • Families receiving the payments are 40% less likely to have unmet household needs than the group not receiving payments (eg. child care, heating costs, or dental care)
  • During the first year of the pilot, families receiving payments reduced their risk of distress by 23%, while families not receiving payments had an 11% decrease.

Families receiving payments are more likely to…

  • Be able to pay bills
  • Save money consistently
  • Have over a month’s worth of income saved for an emergency
  • Pay for household needs like transportation, groceries, and childcare

Tierra Lyons, a parent in the program, said joining the program was a “no brainer” and that the monthly income has helped to stabilize her family’s finances and allowed her to save toward a down payment for a house.

“I had just never experienced this level of radical generosity. Now I can put all of my time, my energy, my resources into just supporting my family because I know that I’m supported as a parent,” Lyons said.

Camp Harbor View Executive Vice President Lisa Fortenberry said the early results are very encouraging — but not surprising.

“It’s an idea that seems too obvious to be as groundbreaking as it is,” said Camp Harbor View Executive Vice President Lisa Fortenberry. “People know what they need to support a healthy family, and with trust and partnership, they can make changes that lead to better physical and mental health, better housing, and education and career paths.”

Jan 2024 update: For numbers and insights from two-year pilot, see our full report on Direct Cash for a Better Boston.

Ready to Run campaign launches across Greater Boston

Today, we’re proud to launch a campaign called “Ready to Run” featuring young people from our programs on billboards and on video screens across the city of Boston and suburbs.

Highlighting CHV’s partnership with Boston teens and families, the campaign will feature on two billboards on the Southeast Expressway (I-93), at Boston Logan Airport, across other transportation hubs and shopping centers across the metro area along with digital media.

Photo of a digital Camp Harbor View billboard on route 93 in Boston that says "WE'RE READY TO LIFT UP THIS TOWN" with an image of one teen helping another on the ropes course on the summer camp island.

We’re also launching a new short video about our work — including summer camp, the Leadership Academy, and our partnerships with families on guaranteed income and economic mobility.

Our goal with this campaign is to introduce Camp Harbor View to a new generation of Bostonians and raise awareness across Greater Boston about the impact CHV is having every single day. Like the billboards say, these young leaders are ready to run this town — and we’re ready to do everything we can to make that happen.

Friendships are made, a ferry ride away, at Camp Harbor View

BOSTON (The Boston Globe) — Nobody says good morning like Chazz Guerra says good morning.

“G-O-O-D M-O-R-N-I-N-G,” Guerra half sang, half shouted into a bullhorn in front of the Great Hall. There are few things Guerra, a 25-year-old camp counselor, likes more than The First Day of Camp.

More than 200 Camp Harbor View middle schoolers were assembled in front of him on the sports fields, wilting in the hot and humid conditions around 9 a.m. on Monday — a tough crowd.

Camp Harbor View is a free summer camp for Boston middle schoolers on the southern end of Long Island in Boston Harbor. The Great Hall is the mess hall in the center of camp, with the ferry dock, sports fields, and high-ropes course to the north and the pool and arts pavilion to the south.

Camp Harbor View provides summer camp experience for local youths free of charge

BOSTON (Boston 25 News) — Camp Harbor View is the brainchild of former Boston Mayor Tom Menino and Boston businessman Jack Connors, who wanted to find a use for the then-untouched land on Long Island. The idea was just to engage middle-schoolers during summer months. But whether it’s learning to sail, fish, climb a rock wall or learn a new sport, the free summer camp has become so much more to the city’s young people over the last 15 years.