YPP Boston & Cambridge


In the Greater Boston area YPP works with students from both Cambridge and Boston public schools. Each site employs local college and high school students to facilitate math literacy workshops in their respective communities. These take place during three 8-12 week sessions per year (Summer, Fall, Winter/Spring). 


In Fall of 2005 YPP opened its programming in the Boston community. Since then the program has opened a program office in the Fields Corner in the Dorchester neighborhood. The program works with High School Math Literacy Workers from all over the city.

Since 2013, 58 high school and college Math Literacy Workers have been trained and employed across the Higginson Lewis and Mason schools.  We are continually looking for ways to improve retention, through hiring and selection, and implementation of quality programming, given that high school and college students are at an age where they are shaping their identities by trying new things, and they are experiencing many transitions and life challenges that cause them to come and go from YPP. 

In Boston, key collaborators include teachers and administrators at the Higginson-Lewis School and the Burke High School, the Department of Extended Learning and AfterSchool at BPS, City Year, and Mason elementary School.


Partners (Boston):



YPP began working in Cambridge as a program within the Algebra Project Youth Initiatives in 1996. Our role and responsibility was to organize students to take ownership of their mathematics education with the hopes of developing a culture among young people about learning and sharing mathematics. YPP and the concept of a Math Literacy Worker grew out of this work. As we have grown, we have grappled with how to develop programmatically and structurally, such that young people remain central to all parts of the organization. This development has been an evolutionary process, as elementary students graduated to middle school, and 6th and 7th graders became high school students, and high school students moved on to college. Through these various transitions we have sought to create spaces such that young people can continually take on greater responsibility within individual workshops, programs, and the organization.

Partners (Cambridge):


Program Highlights & Outcomes

We know that students who persist in YPP have success: Since 2011, 100% of high school MLWs who remain with the program for 3 or more years take one or more courses beyond Algebra II - the strongest indicator of college completion within 6 years (Adelman, 2006); 100% of YPP seniors graduate from High School.

In 2014-2015 YPP MLWs provided math literacy workshops for 42 3rd-5th graders at Higginson Lewis School and 20 K-3rd graders at the Mason Elementary School. Since YPP involvement at Higginson Lewis we have seen a significant annual increase in both MCAS performance and student growth. This data was included in our year 1 interim report:

In 2013 3rd grade math scores at the Higginson Lewis School in Boston improved by 11 points, the third highest increase in the Boston Public School district, due in part to support by YPP and other community partners like City Year.

Overall, the percent of students scoring proficient or higher in mathematics has steadily increased since 2012, YPP’s first year in the school, from 10% in 2012, to 17% in 2013, to 22% in 2014. Similarly the median student growth percentiles (SGP) have increased from 38% in 2012, to 48% in 2013, to 53% in 2014, surpassing the state average in 2014, and indicating that Higginson Lewis is doing as well or better at improving math learning outcomes than other schools with students of similar background.


Contact Person: Cliff Freeman

YPP Greater Boston
99 Bishop Allen Dr.
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 354-8991; (617) 354-8997-(Fax)