Launch supports the young adults of Boston, helping them go back to school, find long-term work, and pursue fulfilling careers.
One of United Way’s latest initiatives, Launch provides at-risk youth with the tools and resources necessary to make positive, informed decisions about their future career and financial well-being.
Launch connects young people to educational services designed to get them back on the road to college, as well as individualized career coaching to identify where they can best use their skills and experience. Youth also receive financial literacy training to help them keep their heads above water once they’ve settled into a more stable situation.
Design-built for young people who might otherwise go unserved, Launch-quality assistance will help make their next step forward their best step forward.
Launch can help you with
- Career Navigation
- Job Placement
- Financial Literacy, Financial Aid & Credit Building
- Social services
Meet Our Coaches
Amanda Shabowich – Launch Project Manager at United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
Amanda is at Boston Day and Evening Academy, a co-facilitator of the Boston Community Action Team, and a Youth Transition Funders Group Fellow in the Economic Well-Being working group. Amanda has spoken about her work across the country, as well as designed and led workshops on the importance of amplifying youth voice through storytelling, self-care for opportunity youth, designing inclusive youth programming, and inter-generational relationship building. In 2017 she was recognized by Mayor Walsh and the Aspen Forum for Community Solutions for her local and national leadership.
Bobby Brown – Career Navigator-Project Manager at the Boston Private Industry Council (PIC)
Bobby has worked in case management with opportunity youth for 3 years now – some of that time spent working in the Denver area. A Boston native, he is happy to be back home now where he continues working with young adults to re-engage them in their education, further their career, and assist in alleviating barriers through connection to community resources. His passions include hiking, camping, reading, video gaming, drinking too much coffee, and chatting about philosophy.
Fred Gomes – Outreach Manager, Boston PIC
My name is Frederick L. Gomes Sr. I am a 47 years of age and was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. I am a contributor by nature and so I’ve always been involved with jobs that offer some form of service. I’ve dedicated about half of my life to the social services industry and for that, I feel fulfilled and grateful for my contributions. For Launch, I oversee outreach in Boston and I work at the Boston PIC. In this role, I have the pleasure of being the first person our young adults will meet before joining Launch begins to support and offer love to our participants.
Kayla Albury – Education Coach at Jewish Vocational Services (JVS) Boston
Kayla graduated from Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor’s in Psychology. Before joining our Launch team, Kayla was a mentor for the 100 Males to College program supporting male high school students of color achieve their goal in attending college. She has a passion for helping others succeed and guiding young people towards accomplishing their dreams. In the future, Kayla would love to create her own program providing support and access to resources in the juvenile justice system to empower young adults and to bridge an equal opportunity for success! One fun fact about Kayla, she is a black belt in karate!
Joseph Hoskowitz – Launch Career Navigator, JVS Boston
Joseph completed his undergraduate studies in Psychology at Thiel College and completed his Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology at Marymount University. “Coaching is important to me because it is a way I can give back to others. I enjoy being a guide that allows others to find success in their life journey. I love all kinds of sports (hockey is my favorite). I hope to one day travel to Japan, learn another language, and paint creatively in my spare time.”
Blake Taylor – Outreach Specialist at Boston Private Industry Council (PIC)
My name is Blake Taylor! I am a Boston native having grown up all over this city. I am currently finishing a bachelors degree in anthropology and political science at UMass Boston! I began my career as a Help Desk technician in Information Technology, and I went on to establish a career in health information and housing policy. What I like the most about Launch is the teaching environment offered! It feels good to be able to learn skills while using the one you have attained, and everything feels collaborative and open.
Yailin Victoria – Launch Coach, LHAND
Yailin recently graduated from Salem State University with two degrees. She holds a Bachelor of Sciences in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. Yailin has worked with youth for about 5 years. She has been with the Launch program since November of 2018 and really enjoys providing guidance to others towards their dreams. Yailin enjoys traveling and learning about different cultures. She will soon be pursuing an education in the Psychology field!
Zeida Santos – Launch Coach, Boston PIC
Zeida Santos is a Career Coach at The Boston Private Industry Council (PIC). The PIC’s mission is to connect the City’s youth and adults with education and employment opportunities that prepare them to meet the skill demands of employers in a changing economy. In her role as a career coach with the Launch program, Zeida supports young adults throughout the process of applying, enrolling, and attending college as well as finding training or employment. Zeida Santos has a Master’s in Applied Linguistics from UMass Boston and a certificate in workplace education from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Zeida Santos has vast experience working with young adults as an ESL instructor in college, and as a career coach. Mrs. Santos believes that working with young adults is a wonderful way to be part of the future.