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Organization History

Hawthorne Youth and Community Center is a grassroots, non-profit that has been responsive to community needs for over forty years. The center, the brainchild of a small group of concerned community youth and adults, began in a converted coal cellar in 1967. Three years later operations moved to a larger Roxbury facility at 9 Fulda Street, a building on an Archdiocese owned complex. In 1973, they formally incorporated as Hawthorne Youth & Community Center (HYCC). In 1984, with community support and fundraising, a ten-year old dream was realized that allowed us to secure the property deed.

In 2015, HYCC  after years of planning got a new building. Sadly, we broke ground on the same day we lost our beloved Sam Sadd who dedicated her life to Highland Park and its youth.  Since its inception HYCC has provided quality educational, cultural and recreational programming for youth and adults as well as a forum where residents come together to improve the quality of neighborhood life. HYCC supports and celebrates the rich diversity of Roxbury’s Highland Park.

Sam Sadd

Sam Sadd, was ever the strong advocate for community activism - standing up for our youth, teens, elders and the arts. A native New Yorker, she came to Boston as an ‘Americorp Vista’ volunteer to work at Hawthorne Youth & Community Center, and remained a pillar of this community. If you lived in Highland Park and you did not know Sam you must have just moved here. Sam programmed with the multi-generational community as her canvas. There was never a missed opportunity to write a grant that strengthened the spectrum of the community.  Roxbury lost a light. She was an inspiring, insistent, and feisty force in our Highland Park community and beyond for over 45 years.


Up until early January 9th, she was ever present at HYCC - working long hours. We are so glad she lived to see construction in process for the expansion of HYCC. Seeing a dream move into reality. As one of the after-school children said on the day of her passing when we talked about Sam, "The ball is now in our court", to continue what Sam helped to build over so many years.


Sleep softly, Sam... life job...well done.  Thank you."

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Board of Directors

Doris Morales 


Luther Pinckney 

Vice Chair

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Kevin Hepner


David Thomas


Board Members

Jason Burrell
Jennifer DuBose
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Samantha Nelson
Michelle Anderson
Nyra Culbert Hall
Luisa Siniscalchi
Toya Desarmes
Linda Freeman
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Jon Ellertson
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Eltha Phillibert
Jillian Roberts
Claude Mayo
Claude Mayo

Friends of HYCC

Michelle Raynor

Honoring Daniel Janey

Mr.  Daniel Janey


As the chair of Hawthorne Youth & Community Center we benefited first hand from his leadership. He helped oversee the expansion of the building not once, but twice during his 40-year tenure. We enjoyed his talks on politics, as he was an active community leader. He was a caring, intelligent and generous human being. We miss him dearly.


Thank you, Mr. Janey!

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