Our youth group, the Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youth have taken their responsibility to improve our community to heart. They held a community wide youth summit in 2009 to learn from area youth better ways to improve the greening of Mattapan as well as improve the food and fitness environments.
An outgrowth of that summit were youth focused fitness activities, including the first ever Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon in August 2011. Throughout the 5 years participation has grown with 2015 ending with 110+ bikers! Youth leaders built support for the bike-a-thon across the community and beyond – Area B-3 Police, Boston Bikes, Boston Cyclists Union, Ashmont Cycles, local community cyclists and many others contributed to the success of the event. The biking tours have highlighted the Neponset River Greenway and other areas around the city of Boston.
In response to the ongoing problems of violence in our community that affect all areas of life, the youth organized a series of anti-violence forums at the Mattapan Public Library in conjunction with several local groups. They hosted a film series aimed at raising the community’s level of awareness around food systems and ways to affect that system locally and nationally.
Join us for our 7th annual Mattapan on Wheels Bike-a-thon!
The Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition Vigorous Youthinvites you to our 7th Mattapan on Wheels (MoW) Bike-a-thon! This year we will be biking on the newly completed Neponset Trail! During MoW, riders of all ages and skill levels come together, get physically active and work to make Mattapan a more bike-friendly neighborhood. After the ride, grab some food and join our partners at the 12th Annual Hoops and Scoops event!
With support from the Center for Health Equity and Social Justice at the Boston Public Health Commission, the youth deepened their understanding of the impact of racism on health and how to dismantle racism. They met with youth from other parts of the state who were similarly engaged.
They have also been leading forces in the strengthening of the Mattapan Square Farmers Market, providing services to assist local elders at the market and participating in nutrition education events at local senior residences and youth programs. In addition to volunteering at the Saturday Market our youth lead the mobile farm stand in front of the Mattapan Community Health Center. Youth are given the leadership to come up with the route the farm stand will go, the hours in which they will stay open, and do their own product placement of the fruits and vegetables!
The Vigorous Youth have received many commendations for their good work, including the Community Service Award from the Boston Police Department, a leadership award from Brookwood Community Farm, and invitations to speak about their work at several national meetings.
Visit and like the Vigorous Youth Facebook page to keep up with the Youth! https://www.facebook.com/MattapanFoodandFitnessCoalition/
YOUTH IN THE NEWS
Vigorous Youth, Yasmine Jewell, shares her thoughts on why biking is important in Boston and what Boston can do to encourage more youth to bike. Click the link below!