Business Community Kids & Families

Nazzaro Center Youth Create Business Ventures With United Way

Jacqueline and Sam created a door-to-door walking service for children called Never Alone (Nazzaro photo)

Over the past six months the Nazzaro Community Center has teamed up with the United Way to take part in the “Youth Venture Project”. The Boston Youth Venture project empowers Boston teenagers to create and implement business ideas to help improve their community. The project then works to help turn those ideas into reality. “We believe this program is a great way for our local teenagers to really discover their entrepreneurial side. It allows for a deal of creativity, partnership and determination,” said Nazzaro Center Youth Worker Michelle Deveau who help spearhead the project. “We owe a big thank you to Mayor Walsh, the Boston Center for Youth and Families and the United Way.” Four teenagers from the Nazzaro Community Center were given the chance to become business entrepreneurs.

Mikayla Romano and Dante Cucuzza created “D&M Skills”, a program with a focus on teaching and conditioning children ages 6-12 on the fundamentals of sports. Starting in April, D&M Skills will meet twice a week to help develop and strengthen baseball and softball skills for all participants. Each 45 minute practice will help advance and prepare them for organized baseball/ softball games. D&M Skills hopes to make enough profit for them to sponsor a child(ren) for organized team sports of their choice.  D&M Skills will also rotate each sport seasonally and hopes to make Flag Football available in the fall.

The other business, “Never Alone” is a “Door to Door Walking Service” for children 6-12 years old. The model is focused on situations like when parents are running late or unable to pick up their child(ren) from school and then take them to another location; such as, piano lessons, dance class, tutoring, or even soccer practice. “Never Alone” will be there to walk them. Creators Samantha O’Brien and Jacqueline Perez like to refer to their business as “Uber on Foot” For a small fee of $4.00 per child and $2.00 for every additional sibling, the child(ren) will be safely walked to any location with the North End neighborhood. Samantha and Jacqueline are always welcoming volunteers to their company. Giving back to the community and their volunteering is very important to the girls, as a part of their business plan, a percentage of all profits will go into a scholarship fund and will be given to an outstanding volunteer at the end of the year. “Never Alone” will be available Monday-Friday from 3-6:00 pm beginning onMonday March 28th. To learn more about their venture or to sign up your child(red), Samantha and Jacqueline will running an information booth from March 21-25 in the Nazzaro lobby from 4-6:00 pm or contact them at (617) 651-3489 or at

“We thought this business model was a great way to give back to the North End Community,” said creators Samantha O’Brien and Jacqueline Perez. Both groups were assisted by their Team Mentor, Alexis Mu, a Senior Analyst at KeyBank. The participants would meet with their mentor twice a week to prepare for their “pitch”. They “pitched” their business plans to a panel of judges from the United Way, very similar to the show “Shark Tank”, in hopes of receiving $1,000 toward their business start up.

2 Replies to “Nazzaro Center Youth Create Business Ventures With United Way

  1. Congratulations!!!!!!!!!
    Two Young Beautiful Girls who are an Inspiration to all.
    God Bless you Both on your New Adventure and Journey to make this a better world.
    Sincerely Angela

  2. All four of these students worked extremely hard on this project. For the past six months they met every deadline, attended every meeting, worked with their mentor and went to pitch their business project. The only thing they need now is a little help from this wonderful community in order for them to be successful entrepreneurs. The Nazzaro Center is very proud of you Mikayla, Dante, Jacqueline and Sam. Best of luck to all of you and continue to make us proud. Thank you to our special Youth Worker Michelle Deveau. If it was not for her love and commitment, none of their deams would be possible.

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