Robert Lewis Jr.. Lewis, a former Eastie resident and East Boston High graduate is someone who always talks fondly about the impact growing up in Maverick’s public housing development has had on his life.
Growing up in the Maverick Landing housing development Lewis said he had a support network in Eastie, like Debbie White, Marty Pino, Thomas Tassinari and Johnny Forbes who taught him that if he dreamed big, good things would happen.
Lewis recently attended the Maverick Landing Community Services (MLCS) community dinner.
MLCS was established in 2007 to serve the residents of the Maverick development and the surrounding community. The multi-service organization focuses on helping children, youth, and adults to build 21st-century skills.
Lewis talked and reconnected with the whole Maverick community during the dinner and talked about being a Maverick resident and being resilient while growing up in public housing.
At the dinner Lewis also enjoyed a nice reunion with former neighbor Ruth Capone. Capone was a former Maverick Tenants Organization leader and the person who initially led the redevelopment efforts at Maverick Landing
“I didn’t get to where I am in life by myself,” he said. “They say it takes a village to raise a child and that is true. I was just a kid growing up in the projects in Maverick, but I went on to do great things, travel the world, meet people like Nelson Mandela because of the people that believed in me.”
In his adult life, Lewis became a nationally recognized thought leader, public speaker and passionate advocate for urban youth. He has become well known as a bridge-builder and catalyst for collaboration between diverse business, civic and public sectors throughout the country. A 2015 Boston Magazine cover story listed Robert among the city’s 50 Most Powerful Leaders, calling him “a tireless advocate for inner-city kids.”
“All that success can be traced back to my time growing up in Eastie,” he said. “Because there were people that saw something in me and made me believe in myself.”
In 2013 Lewis launched BASE, a program that leverages the power and passion of baseball to help student athletes find pathways to success both on and off the field. Since 2013, the BASE has had 138 student athletes matriculate to college and has provided $25 million in academic scholarships.