More Than Words
More Than Words (MTW) is an organization created by Mathew McCall that empowers system involved youth to take charge of their lives through employment and leadership programing. More Than Words began as an online bookselling training program for youth in DCF custody in 2004. In 2005 More Than Words opened a book store in Waltham, Massachusetts. Youth run the 501(c)(3) nonprofit bookstores in both the South End of Boston Massachusetts and in Waltham Massachusetts.
More Than Words youth gain business and management experience by actively running the bookstores. Youth work 20+ hours/week. More Than Words administrative staff facilitate training for the youth in all aspects of business. Youth peers also facilitate peer-led trainings and team meetings. Regarding the programming aspect of More Than Words, youth participate in workshops, mock interviews, resume building, and life skill programs. Youth are held accountable for crafting their individualized action plans and progressing in those plans. There is also an education component for many of the youth. Youth without a high school diploma or GED commit to obtaining a GED or diploma. Youth receive assistance if they are interested in pursuing higher education.
After youth finish the initial More Than Words program they can participate in the graduate program. In the graduate program youth receive additional training and case management support with education and employment goals. The program is a two-year program. More than Words serve about 250 youth in each year. In 2013 nineteen percent of young people had obtained their high school diploma or equivalency when they started the program. By the end of the 24-month program eighty-two percent of the youth had obtained their high school diploma or equivalency.