About Us


We live in a world with many social issues such as opioid deaths, hatred, prejudice, addiction, bullying, mass murders, climate catastrophes, gender bias, suicide, voting rights, gun control, global warming, pollution, poverty. Many government and private programs attempt to deal with these issues, but most of these programs address the symptoms and not the root cause.

 We believe that K-12 public school education provides us with the most effective place to have a positive impact and influence on students. 

Most traditional public school education is focused on content (academics) and very little on social-emotional learning (SEL).

 In Medford, Massachusetts, we have created an SEL program where K-12 students learn to be responsible global leaders/citizens. To addressThe Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CCSR) was established in 2013. The mission of the CCSR is to develop responsible global leaders/citizens that will be positive contributors to society and will work to combat critical social issues listed above and become leaders in our society. We believe that by providing the appropriate learning activities, we can: prevent students from becoming addicted to harmful substances, develop positive self-awareness, encourage teamwork and cooperation, improve self-esteem and develop leadership skills.


We believe that incorporating real-life experiences (PBL) for students to work on projects to help others will positively affect their self-image and understanding. Therefore, the Center works with school administration to develop a system-wide initiative to integrate social-emotional learning, citizenship, resiliency, and social intelligence into the district curriculum and activities.


Over the past four years, over 1500 students have participated in our mini-courses, clubs and activities, and most importantly community projects. We have a district-wide afterschool program that is dedicated to making the community and the world a better place to live. At each school, there is a CCSR advisor who guides students in the development of Project Based Learning activities, individually and in small groups of 2 or 3 students. The student(s) select a project that they believe will help others or make the community a better place to live. A full list and description of the projects can be found on our project page.

Our public education system is the foundation of our democracy and the cauldron of the “melting pot”. We believe that public and private schools must incorporate social-emotional learning, empathy, compassion, and citizenship in school curriculums to develop students leaders will who combat racism, bigotry, and hate. If we fail to do this, we miss an opportunity to have a profound impact on the kind of world that our children will live in.

Student-created projects are the major focus of the CCSR; however, the CCSR also provides SEL support for the school district. We provided motivational speakers such as Dr. Sanjiv Chopra of Harvard Medical School, Dr. Roberts Brooks, a Clinical Psychologist, and Richard Blanco, a renowned poet, who spoke in the Fall of 2019. In addition, when aligned with our mission, we have provided mini-grants for classroom projects, field experiences, and supplies and materials for students, faculty, and staff.

Check out our annual report here.

And check out our publications here.


CCSR Founded

The CCSR is founded in 2013 made possible by a grant of $50,000 from Bloomberg Philanthropies

CSSR Awarded Cummings Grant

In the Spring of 2017, the CCSR is awarded the 100k For 100 Cummings Grant

Krystle Campbell

In the Spring of 2018, the CCSR announced its partnership with the Krystle Campbell Foundation. Read more about it here

CCSR Expands to all schools in Medford

In 2018, the CCSR has expanded to every school in Medford
The CCSR was made possible by an unrestricted donation of $50,000 by Bloomberg Philanthropies in 2012. In 2016, the Cummings Foundation awarded the CCSR with a $100,000 (over three years) grant to continue our mission.

In September of  2018, the CCSR received a donation of $125,000. In August of 2020, an additional $40,000 from the Krystle Campbell Community Betterment Project  Boston Foundation. In May of 2021, the CCSR was awarded a ten-year grant of $350,000 from the Cummings Foundation, which will support student-created projects that will help make the world a better place to live for the next ten years!

Over the past five years, over 2000 students have participated in our mini-courses, clubs, activities, and, most important projects – approximately six hundred students have developed projects that benefit the schools, community, and the world. At each school – high school (and alternative high school), two middle schools, and four elementary schools – a CCSR teacher-advisor guides students in developing Project-Based Learning activities, individually and in small groups of 2 or 3 students. The student(s) select a project that they believe will help others or make the community a better place to live.

 A full list and description of the projects can be found on our project page.

In light of all of the terrible national and worldwide tragedies, we firmly believe teaching children and adolescents how to be empathetic leaders and understand the plight of others are imperative to prevent such tragedies from happening again.


CCSR Summer Leadership Academy

The CCSR was awarded a $10,0100 grant from the City of Medford Community Fund. These funds will allow the CCSR to offer high school students to attend a two-week summer academy. There will be two sessions for two weeks in July. Upon completion the session, students will understand: the role of a leader, effective leadership, essential leadership skills, and the importance of leadership in social change. The academy will employ the same methodology as the after-school program.



Project Based Learning Methodology

Project-based learning (PBL) is an effective teaching method because it allows students to apply the skills and knowledge they are learning to real-world problems and projects. This approach helps students develop a deeper understanding of social issues by actively engaging with it and connecting to their own experiences. Additionally, project-based learning encourages students to take ownership of their learning by allowing them to direct their projects, which can increase their motivation and engagement. Research suggests that group or team projects can improve learning outcomes. In group projects, students have the opportunity to collaborate and share ideas, which can lead to a deeper understanding of the material and improved critical thinking skills. Team projects also provide students with experience working in a team, which is an important skill that is often valued in the workforce. Additionally, group projects can also increase student motivation and engagement in the learning process.

Creating a solution to a social problem can have several positive psychological effects:

Sense of purpose: Working to solve a social problem can provide individuals with a sense of purpose and meaning, as they are working towards a goal that they believe will have a positive impact on society.

Empowerment: The process of creating a solution can also empower individuals, as they are actively taking steps to address an issue that they care about.

Increased self-esteem: Successfully creating a solution to a social problem can boost self-esteem and self-worth, as individuals feel like they have made a meaningful contribution.

Increased motivation: The process of creating a solution can also increase motivation, as individuals are working towards a goal that they are passionate about.

Decrease in stress: When an individual is actively working towards a solution to a social problem, they can feel a sense of agency and control which can decrease stress.

Positive impact on mental health: The positive emotions and sense of accomplishment associated with creating a solution can also have a positive impact on mental health.

Positive impact on community: The solution to a social problem can have a positive impact on the community, as it can lead to the creation of new resources, the improvement of infrastructure, or the implementation of positive changes.

Social connections: Collaborating with others to solve a social problem can foster social connections and lead to new opportunities for collaboration and support.


Authentic Learning

The CCSR provides an authentic experience for student leaders. They select projects that they believe are important to address locally and globally. The advisors are “guides on the sides” who support and advise the leaders. The authentic selection process has been one of the cornerstones of the CCSR program methodology, along with Project-Based Learning (PBL)

Authentic learning, also known as experiential learning, is a teaching method that focuses on real-world problems. It is effective because it allows students to make connections between the material they are learning and the world around them, which can increase their engagement and motivation. Additionally, authentic learning tasks often require students to use critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which can help them develop and apply them in other areas of their lives. Additionally, it allows learners to apply the learning in a real-world scenario which makes it more meaningful and relevant to them.


CCSR: Addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

ACEs are traumatic events that occur during childhood or adolescence, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, household dysfunction, and exposure to violence or substance abuse. These experiences can have a negative impact on a child’s development, behavior, and health outcomes. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: on and Control Division of Violence Prevention skill-based learning is an important part of a comprehensive approach to prevent ACEs. Decades of research shows that teaching children and youth skills to handle stress, resolve conflicts, and manage their emotions and behaviors can prevent violence victimization and perpetration, as well as substance misuse, sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and teen pregnancy.

After-school programs, like the CCSR, are a way to provide opportunities for youth to strengthen their behavioral, leadership, and academic skills and become involved in positive school and community activities. Mentoring and after-school programs can reduce the prevalence of crime, violence, and other adolescent risk behavior and pave the way for positive outcomes in adulthood. Evidence Research suggests that mentoring programs improve outcomes across behavioral, social, emotional and academic domains. Other benefits include improvements in academic performance, parent-child and student-teacher relationships, and parental trust. Opportunities to develop and practice leadership, decision-making, self-management, and social problem-solving skills are important components of after-school programs with documented benefits.


Essential Elements of the CCSR

Project-Based Learning (PBL) is an instructional process in which students gain knowledge, problem-solving, and leadership skills by working for an extended period to investigate and respond to a genuine, engaging, complex issue, problem, or challenge. Since PBL incorporates real-life experiences for students by working to help others, the learning has a lasting positive effect on their self-image, self-confidence, ability to empathize, and understanding of others

PBL: Essential Project Design Elements:

– The projects are designed on student learning goals and skills such as critical thinking/problem solving, communication, collaboration, and self-management and focus on a meaningful problem to solve or a question to answer

– Students engage in a rigorous, extended process of finding resources and applying information.

– The project features real-world context, tasks, tools, quality standards, or impact – or speaks to students’ concerns, interests, and issues in their lives.

– Students make essential decisions about the project, including how they work and create.

– Students collaborate – working on a typical goal/project, students learn the importance of teamwork

– Students and teachers reflect on learning, the effectiveness of their inquiry and project activities, the quality of student work, obstacles, and how to overcome them.

– Students give, receive, and use feedback to improve their processes and products.

– Students make their project work public by explaining, displaying, or presenting it to people beyond the classroom


Educational Benefits

Project-based methodology – Students and staff create projects that culminate with a demonstration of the learning outcome (project). Projects address the need to make the world a better place to live – for a single student, school, group, community, state, country, or the world.

– Promotes empathy, compassion, teamwork, and leadership skills

–  Helps prevent depression, hopelessness, loneliness, anxiety, addiction, etc.

– Improves self-esteem and self-confidence

– Communication skills to effectively communicate with their peers, as well as with other members of the school community

– Organization skills – leaders learn to plan and organize events and activities

– Problem-solving skills – leaders learn to identify and solve problems that arise within their organization or school community.

– Responsiveness – leaders learn to be responsive to the needs and concerns of their peers and be willing to- listen to and consider different perspectives.

-Empathy: Student leaders must be able to understand and relate to the experiences and perspectives of their peers.



We want our students to be able to act with integrity, respect, and responsibility


Our goal is to foster our students into being responsible citizens in a global society


The student-led projects are an outlet to allow the students themselves to become leaders and provide service to their communities

CCSR Videos

Check out the following videos to learn more about our organization