PBHA has adopted the following mission statement:
Phillips Brooks House was constructed in the memory of the Reverend Phillips Brooks, a preacher at Trinity Church, Harvard graduate, advocate for social service, and lover of humanity. Plans for the building were drafted and completed upon Brooks' death in 1893, and Phillips Brooks House was dedicated on January 23, 1900 to serve "the ideal of piety, charity, and hospitality."
In 1904, six organizations formally organized themselves into the Phillips Brooks House Association (PBHA), and by the 1920s all of the religious groups had withdrawn from the organization. The Social Service Committee and several offspring philanthropic groups continued to serve the mission of PBHA in a nonsectarian manner. Early efforts included placing students at settlement houses, organizing clothing and book drives, and financing missionaries to serve in Asia. During the two World Wars, PBHA volunteer services dwindled, but new services included a Red Cross center, a lounge for ROTC units, and the Harvard Mission Program, which assisted workers in Albania and Turkey. The Great Depression also saw the expansion of local programs, including efforts to teach Harvard courses to local high school graduates who could not afford to attend college.
The 1950s mark the beginning of PBHA as we know it today. Many committees began by placing volunteers into existing agencies, but with the help of philanthropic grants, programming activity became increasingly more autonomous. In 1954, students of Radcliffe College were admitted into full participation in PBHA. Through the 1960s, programs arose in many new areas of social service and expanded further throughout the Boston and Cambridge communities.
These highly sophisticated programs required much funding from outside grants. The lack of proper logistical and advisory support soon made student volunteer efforts more difficult to sustain. Many committees worked with costly professional consultants, adding greater concerns of quality control and coordination of PBHA activities. Through the 1970s, membership plummeted from over 1000 students to less than 200 as the PBHA collapsed under its own weight. This collapse ushered in a time of rebuilding and restructuring. PBHA was incorporated in 1973. In 1974, PBHA Inc. began to solicit greater University support. A full-time Graduate Secretary, now the Executive Director, was employed for the first time as well. Programmatic efforts were directed at establishing continuity and maintaining a stable internal structure.
By the late-1980s, programming had once again increased and committees were flourishing as never before. Programming was initiated throughout Boston and new parts of Cambridge. A diverse array of programs with interests in education, law, health issues, elderly affairs, advocacy, and youth enrichment began. This was made possible in part by a $1 million capital campaign initiated in 1986. The success allowed the foundation of the Association Committee, an advisory group composed of alumni, faculty, and community leaders, and the development of the Summer Urban Program (SUP), a 12-camp network providing low-cost summer day camps to over 700 children in Boston and Cambridge. In response to this rapid growth, the Cabinet voted in 1992 to create a student Board of Directors, charged with managing the Corporation's day-to-day activities to alleviate the time demands on the Cabinet's time.
1995 was a pivotal year for PBHA. As Harvard moved towards restructuring the management of the College's public service activities, it became clear that a gap existed between PBHA's goals and those of the University. Spurred on by its student leaders, the Cabinet passed a resolution in November urging the adoption of "a more rational, autonomous structure" for PBHA. Supported by faculty, the Cambridge and Boston City Councils, many community members, and Harvard students, over 2000 people participated in a rally on December 7, 1995 in support of student voice in public service activities.
The rally marked the beginning of a new era for PBHA, and was followed in the spring of 1996 by an extensive rewriting of the by-laws. The Cabinet's approval of the new by-laws created a Board of Trustees for PBHA composed of students, administrators, faculty, alumni, and community leaders. The Board is charged with long-term planning for the Corporation, while day-to-day management remains in the hands of the Cabinet and its elected Student Officers. In the summer of 1996, an agreement was reached between Harvard College and PBHA allowing this new structure for a one-year trial period. After further negotiations, a final agreement was reached in September 1997. Since then, the Board of Trustees has hired an Executive Director, who has in turn brought on a Deputy Director to support the programming of the organization.
PBHA today comprises 78 programs, with over 1,800 volunteers participating in a wide range of service activities. In addition to running during the school year, 13 committees operate or work with youth enrichment camps throughout Boston during the summers. The Cabinet, still at the heart of governance of the organization, continues to play an important role, both in setting and managing the vision for PBHA as this inspiring organization enters its second century.
SUP seeks to:
SUP camps are not just camps in the community but are community camps. This means that everything we do is based on and embedded within our tight-knit communities.
The camp day, which typically runs from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, is divided into two main parts - mornings are spent engaged in classroom learning while afternoons are spent on educational and fun field trips in and around Boston. Camp staff includes 2 or more directors, college-age senior counselors, and high school-age junior counselors who come from the communities served by the camps.
The Summer Urban Program consists of 9 camps in Boston and 3 in Cambridge:
Alumni of the Phillips Brooks House Association include figures as diverse as Justice David Souter, ACLU founder Roger Nash Baldwin, Dr. Robert Coles, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and countless other leaders for social change in communities across America.
U.S. SECRETARY OF EDUCATION ARNE DUNCAN TO VISIT BOSTON, MEET WITH CITY YEAR YOUTH LEADERS AND GIVE REMARKS AT PHILLIPS BROOKS HOUSE ASSOCIATION'S 2010 ROBERT COLES 'CALL OF SERVICE' LECTURE.
Oct 14, 2010; WASHINGTON, DC -- The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Education: Contact: (202) 401-1576,...