The WorkSmart and TASK programs, described below, support the YWCA Malden mission for youth and families and build on creativity, resiliency and problem-solving, resulting in students graduating from high school academically, socially and emotionally prepared embrace the opportunities life has to offer.
WorkSmart is a dynamic and vibrant program that engages the participants in a continuum of career development, educational programs and services in accordance with the National Youth Forum Ready by 21 standards of preparing youth for “college, work and life”. The program structure builds on the assets participants currently poses and develop strategies that further develop resiliency skills, personal power, self-confidence, intrinsic motivation and leadership skills to allow participants the opportunity to develop a path that is right for them.
WorkSmart is a powerful combination of education services, skill attainment, exposure to internships and employment, needed supportive services. By providing youth with academic supports, comprehensive Workforce Development training targeting skills that are required in the 21st century workplace, as well as a recognized credential, participants are indeed prepared for College, Work and Life.
WorkSmart empowers participants to take control of their destination. Year-round training, coupled with paid summer internships provide youth with meaningful, hands-on work experience, and the important in-depth understanding of career exploration and job readiness.
According to Corporate Voices for Working Families, The U.S. business leaders continue to report struggles with hiring prepared and skilled entry level employees. Consistently employers also rate teamwork, social responsibility and professionalism as core skills needed in prospective employees but report that they are lacking. Seven (7) in 10 employers thought these skills were important for entry-level jobs available to high school graduates. They reported that 4 in 10 high school graduates were deficient in these skills. In order to change those statistics and the odds for these youth WorkSmart prepares a talent pipeline of skilled employees, while helping young people succeed in school, on the job, and throughout life.
The YWCA TASK program is for high school aged girls in grades 9-12. The TASK program is a peer leadership program and provides opportunities for girls to become leaders in their community. TASK provides a unique programming model for girls to become engaged in their community while building self esteem and confidence to blossom into successful adulthood. This program is designed to capture the interest of girls on a multi level approach. It is important for girls to develop relationships that promote emotional and social health while promoting positive youth development. This girl only program has proven to be successful because girls receive the maximum benefit when the programs they participate in are girl-only because they feel free to open up and express themselves, ask any questions and take on leadership roles they might not otherwise. It is important for girls to be role models in their community and provide current, up to date information on various topics to their peers, families, vested city agencies, elected officials and groups who benefit from a collaborative effort. TASK program members have been crucial in educating elected officials on various tobacco related topics. Members have also participated in the Legacy Foundation workshops in Chicago. This multi faceted program model has allowed girls to develop public services announcements on MATV that addresses bullying issues while learning filming and editing. All girls receive public speaking training, assistance with navigating the college application process, and career exploration. TASK works in conjunction with both city and state organizations.
Substance Abuse Prevention
TASK works in collaboration with the following community and state and national agencies:
Board of Health
Health Resources in Action
Malden Access Television
Malden High School
Malden Teen Enrichment Center
Metropolitan Area Planning Council
The Cambridge Health Alliance
The Youth Legacy Foundation
If you want to become a teen member of the YWCA or are interested in the TASK program, please contact Christina Murphy at
781-322-3760. Any girl who lives in Malden and is between 14-18 years of age is eligible for membership.
TASK Projects, Places and Events
In 2014 The YWCA embarked upon a Placemaking/ Photovoice project. Placemaking is improving an area by making it healthier and community
friendly. TASK focused on Lincoln Commons and Fellsmere Pond and collectively decided upon ideas to make these places more appealing to the community. We presented our project at the teen center and it was well received.
In 2014 Malden YWCA TASK program participated in one of the first homeless youth counts in the state. Both YWCA TASK and MTEC helped document teens and young adults up to the age of 25.
The YWCA TASK girls participated in trainings at Malden Access Television and learned to operate video cameras, edit videos, and even created their own video projects. We have also done PSA’s and developed a teen talk show.
In 2013 the YWCA TASK conducted a Photovoice Project about Health and Wellness in our community. Our pictures represented the
good, such as the High school, Teen Center and the library. It also addressed areas of concern, such as the unsafe streets, necessity of more lighting and needed repairs in Malden parks. The exhibit was overwhelming received and our areas of concern were addressed.
TASK girls originated the Culture Club that was held at the Malden Teen Enrichment Center to educate others about different cultures and to share their traditions and practices. This ultimately raised awareness about the amount of diversity in our community.
The TASK program worked on Sticker Shock with the Malden Police in order to affix orange stickers to beer and wine coolers. This notifies patrons that they are not allowed to sell liquor to anyone under the age of 21.
The YWCA TASK and MTEC teens took a trip into Boston to tour the State House and visit the Afro-American museum of history. While at the statehouse the TASK girls had lunch with Senator Jason Lewis and experienced the rich history of Boston.
All TASK members who turn 18 years of age participate in the democratic process by registering to vote.
KICK BUTTS DAY at the state house. TASK members plan and attend the statewide youth led event, (2005-2014). Met with state representatives and senators to discuss tobacco prevention strategies.
TASK conducted Health Tables at Malden High School and handed out flyers and pamphlets to students. We were educating teens about the dangers of tobacco, violence, sex, drugs, and other issues affecting youth.
TASK members were and are instrumental in creating and formatting the84.org. Teen leaders from the YWCA have been members of the84.org since 2005, a tobacco prevention program.
A TASK member in 2014 received the Statewide Leadership Award for excellence in tobacco prevention. Awarded by the Department of Public Health.
TASK designed and distributed a teen suicide prevention pamphlet.
We encouraged Malden’s Leaders to raise the age to purchase tobacco
products to 21.
TASK girls won the 84 Chapter Award in 2012 and in 2013 for excellence in tobacco prevention. They received the highest amount of points and were competing against numerous other teen organizations in the Greater Boston area.
The TASK girls planned and attended the Malden Wellness Celebration and Bike Rodeo. We worked to promote healthy living by handing out free bike helmets. People of all ages attended and were excited to start wearing their new helmets.
TASK participated in the Youth Legacy Foundation Training in Chicago. Concentration on tobacco prevention, summer of 2010.