Four honored by Dorchester youth programs

DORCHESTER — On Dec. 9, St. Peter’s School, the Bowdoin Street After School Program and the Catholic Charities of Greater Boston’s Teen Center at St. Peter’s in Dorchester held a fundraiser and honored four people for their contributions to each program.

St. Peter’s School honored Barry and Barbara O’Brien. For over 10 years, The O’Briens have supported St. Peter’s School by sponsoring the education of countless children. Currently, there are 24 O’Brien scholars attending school. Additionally, the O’Briens serve on the school board and offer their apple orchard for annual field trips. The O’Brien’s have urged others to become involved and help support the school. Through their efforts, students who would not be able to afford St. Peter’s tuition are able to gain a valuable educational experience in a Catholic setting.

The Bowdoin Street After School Program honored Larry Mayes. Mayes was formerly the director of the Log School and lent his support through funding and collaborations as the Bowdoin Street After School Program began. In its three years of existence, the program has grown from 52 children to 80 children in kindergarten through 7th grade who spend time after school enjoying a safe place where they can receive help with their homework. Mayes has recently taken the position of director of human services for the city of Boston.

The Teen Center honored Dr. Joseph Doolin. Dr. Doolin became the first lay president of Catholic Charities, serving from 1989 until his retirement earlier this year. During his 15-year tenure, the organization intensified its focus on community work and has achieved national recognition as a model multiservice agency. Among the many new programs he supported is Catholic Charities Teen Center at St. Peter’s, where teens have access to educational, enrichment, leadership development, and recreational activities throughout the week. Work and activities aim to provide the skills necessary for academic success; increase knowledge of child-care and youth development; develop self-esteem and the perception of teens as a positive force in the community; foster the desire to continue education and be goal-oriented; and develop positive relationships with children and adults in the community.

The three programs all operate in St. Peter’s School building on Bowdoin Street. Proceeds from the fundraiser will go toward maintaining the building and shared space.