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LAWRENCE PROSPERA IS A COMMUNITY DRIVEN NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION COMMITTED TO OUR MISSION OF STRENGTHENING THE INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES OF LAWRENCE, MA THROUGH THE DEVELOPMENT OF THRIVING NEIGHBORHOODS.


News and Updates

Lawrence Prospera is proud to present our Fiscal Year 2022 Annual Report. 

During this season of giving, consider making an end of the year donation to support Lawrence Prospera's transformative programming.


Since early September 2020, a small team of proven risk Lawrence young people have been working with SISU’s Construction team to design and build Little Free Libraries for the City of Lawrence.
Track our Progress

    During the pandemic lockdown, SISU participants were tasked with developing a community service project that addressed a social need while working within the current social and public health climate in the City. They identified literacy education as an area they wished to focus on. Through research and regional connections, SISU came across the Little Free Library Project. With SISU’s experience building affordable housing, the Little Free Library Project was the perfect fit.  

    Partnering with the City of Lawrence Mayor's Office and local Patrons, SISU hopes to install 50 Libraries around the City.
    Track our Progress
    If you are interested in sponsoring a one of the libraries email us at pheithaus@lfdef.org

    In Massachusetts...
    We Spend $14,000 a year to education a child
    We spend $53,000 a Year to Incarcerate an Individual
    We Can Do Better!
    In Lawrence...
    73% of residents speak a language other than English at home, impacting education & earning power
    We Can Do Better!
    In Lawrence
    Average Monthly Rent is $2,200/month.
    Average Monthly Income is $1,800
    We Can Do Better! 
    • CJGrowing up, basketball helped keep me away from street violence and drugs. I would spend my days hanging with teammates or other players from the city. Then things changed. On September 13 2018 tragedy found the City of Lawrence and I lost my good friend Leonel to the Columbia Gas explosion. I was sitting in a car with him and was inches from getting struck by the falling chimney that took his life and injured several other friends.

      I went from being a regular baller to being depressed and unmotivated. I learned how to live with just my own company. My attitude, body posture, and tone of voice all changed. For years I didn’t feel the same and gave up on a lot of opportunities and friendships. I was lost. Then a coach suggested a check out the SISU program. He thought it could help get back into the flow of things and in the right mindset.

      I agreed to give it a shot. I was immediately drawn to the screen Printing and embroidery room where you learn how to print on T-shirts, Sweaters, and Sweatpants. A while back, I started a little brand named “A1 Drip” and was taking money out of my own pocket to pay someone to do the printing for me but here I don’t need that middle person I am the person. At SISU they gave me the ability to do the designs for my brand and learn how to either screen print or embroider it on shirts. I learned that I don’t need that middle person, I can be the person.

      SISU provides so much programming, but that isn’t the best part. I love this staff. They treat you like family and best of all they here for you in any way. They can relate to what we are going through since we all from Lawrence.

      For the rest of the story...

    • Eulalia JorgeEulalia moved to the US from the Dominican Republic in 2012, when she was in her 50s. Despite being the primary childcare provider for her grandson, she rarely misses an ESL class at the Quintana Center, often walking several blocks in the rain, cold, or whatever the weather.

      Many students in her position would feel limited and discouraged by their age. She repeatedly expresses that her children do not want her to take English classes because they want to be able to rely on her for childcare. They also tell her she is “too old to learn” and that it will be too difficult for her. However, learning English is a goal she has set for herself and she is doing everything possible to achieve it.

      She participates in class with regularity and does very well in the written grammar work. Despite numerous obstacles, she tries her best to stay on top of the work and is not afraid to ask questions or seek help from her classmates and is just as quick to give it when she can.

      She was also an enthusiastic participant and champion of the workshops that the center offers. She attended all the workshops and was always ready with questions and often sang the praises of the workshops for exposing her to important information that is useful in her daily life.

      Eulalia's goal is to become a U.S. citizen, and her ultimate goal is to learn enough English to be able to go back to school and resume her prior profession as a teacher.
    • kristian2To say that Kristian has lived a tough life, would be dramatically underselling his story. Overwhelmed with difficulties at home, Kristian dropped out of High School in 2015 and became involved with less than productive activities on the streets. In 2018, Kristian was stabbed in the arm. Friends suggested he check out the SISU program and try to get his life back on track. Shortly thereafter he found himself without a stable place to live and spent his nights sleeping on floors and couches.

      Despite his living situation, Kristian continued to attend programming at SISU. During the summer of 2019, his life began to stabilize. He got a job and was able to save some money. He and his girlfriend were able to get an apartment and purchase a car. That fall, they welcomed their first child into their family. In 2020, Kristian decided to take another step towards future stability and he enrolled in the HISET program at the SISU Center. In March of 2021, Kristian and his girlfriend welcomed their second child in their family.

      However, it wasn’t long before tragedy struck again. In December of 2021, Kristian’s girlfriend was murdered in a drive by shooting. Kristian was again lost. All that had built over the previous three years was starting to unravel, but has it had throughout that time, the SISU team sought out Kristian and provided support.

      For the rest of the story...
    • Esmerlin TavarezEsmerlin is a 21 year old student from the Dominican Republic. She has completed several sessions of Saturday Casa Dominicana ESL classes at the Quintana Center. Esmerlin has shown extraordinary dedication to her studies. She regularly takes on extra work in and outside of class to continue improving her language skills. Her dedication has been rewarded and she has progressed quickly through the levels of ESL. She often works with other students in her classes who are not as comfortable with the language.

      Esmerlin’s goal is improve her English enough to enroll in University. She is working towards taking the English Placement test at a few of the local colleges to see how much further English instruction she will need before she can return to life as a full time college student and pursue her ultimate goals.
    • s urenaScottie was born and raised in Lawrence. When he was 9 years old his father was incarcerated on federal drug charges and his happy family was split up. Shortly after, his parents’ marriage ended and his mother struggled financially. Attempting to protect him, Scottie’s extended family kept the truth about his father’s incarceration from him until a cousin let it slip. Scottie was crushed and felt that he no longer had any guidance in his life. Not long after Scottie learned about his father’s incarceration, his step-father was picked up for immigration violations and by the time he was a teenager the two most significant men in his life had unintentionally abandoned him.

      As a teen, Scottie’s mom couldn’t afford to buy him the nice clothes or named brand shoes he wanted, so he got involved in criminal activity. By the age of 13, he was out of control and surrounded himself with negative people looking for trouble. He stopped attending school, and was getting into fights in the streets. By the age of 17, he was committed to DYS for auto theft and in 2017 he was sentenced to 18 months in jail for grand larceny and firearm possession.

      While in jail, he completed his GED and Barbershop certification. He also had the time to reflect on his life and goals moving forward. After his release he learned about the SISU program from a friend, and he was able to join SISU’s EARN program. Despite initial struggles to focus due to his problems in the community, he worked with the SISU staff to create an Individual Success Plan (ISP) with set goals and community resources. In April of 2020, Scottie was enrolled into the NETTS’s Heating,-Ventilation- Air-Conditioning, and Refrigeration (HVACR) training program. Scottie graduated in October of 2021 as is currently working full time as a HVACR technician. He also recently welcomed his first child. 

      “The SISU center provided me with the tools I needed in my life when I was feeling desperate for a positive change. Now, I find myself in a better place in my life and consider myself a positive member of the community.”

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