How We Work


We Focus on Skills

Because skills are the common denominator

Boston Beyond’s coalition of partners commits to cultivating a common set of skills that every young person needs to thrive. We’ve carefully selected cross-cutting skills—like teamwork and perseverance—that employers seek, colleges require, and research links to success in all spheres of adult life.

We work with out-of-school-time providers to embed these skills into engaging, developmentally appropriate curricula. As students work on real-world projects, they get to practice these skills in meaningful ways. They come away more motivated to learn and empowered to pursue ambitious goals in school and beyond.

Why are skills so important?

Skills like communication and self-regulation factor into almost every aspect of life success.

  • In school, children need skills to manage emotions, focus on challenging content, and interact positively with peers and adults.
  • In college, students need skills to organize their time, study effectively, and seek support when they encounter challenges.
  • In the workplace, skills help individuals solve complex problems, communicate ideas effectively, and collaborate with others.
  • Throughout life, skills help us navigate institutions, advocate for loved ones, participate in our communities, and make wise decisions about our wellbeing.

These skills aren’t magic or innate. Like reading and math, they can be taught and strengthened with practice. That’s why our network draws on best practices in education and youth development to help students build proficiency in each area and the confidence to reach their potential.

did you know?

  • Eight out of 10 employers say that social and emotional skills are crucial to success, and yet they are the hardest skills to find in new hires (National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Employment).
  • Strong social and emotional skills also positively influence school outcomes, like course grades and test scores (Pierce et al., 2010; Duckworth & Seligman, 2005).

Skills to Achieve, Connect, and Thrive

Boston Beyond’s Achieve-Connect-Thrive Framework provides a common vocabulary to partner schools and organizations as they teach students how to:

  • Achieve goals
  • Connect meaningfully with others
  • Thrive as individuals

The skills we’ve outlined in each domain offer an accessible, practical means to help students understand their strengths and weaknesses and prepare for the future.