Having a safe and positive environment for teenagers is as needed today as it was 25 years ago when Madeleine Steczynski and Bob Grove started ZUMIX from their living room to help local teenagers. Over the years, ZUMIX has grown from a summer program with 25 teenagers to a full-time agency with more than 1,000 youths mostly from East Boston but also coming from surrounding communities.
Not only has the number of teenagers using ZUMIX grown but also the physical space and the resources and programs that are offered are growing. When ZUMIX started, the program was just music but in the reconverted Firehouse on Sumner Street, today’s activities feature not only music but a radio station that will broadcast on the FM dial offering teenagers training in technology and communications.
As a community, we continue to see our youth being killed or lost to a life in gangs. One might argue that the mission and very existence of organizations like ZUMIX are needed more than ever before.
The positive impact of ZUMIX on the thousands of lives that have been touched over the 25 years cannot be calculated. Suffice it to say that our community and its youth are the better for ZUMIX.
We urge our readers to look at the special section in today’s newspaper on the past 25 years of ZUMIX. In this section are letters not only from community leaders but also from some of the teenagers who have been in ZUMIX programs and how valuable this organization is to them and to East Boston.
We look forward to the special gala Friday night celebrating the last 25 years and to the next 25 years in helping teenagers achieve a meaningful and productive life.