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New Center Directors Named for BCYF Charlestown, Hyde Park, and Mattahunt Community Centers

Three new center directors to lead community centers in Charlestown, Hyde Park and Mattapan.

Today, Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF), the City’s largest youth and human service agency, announced James Burke as the new BCYF Charlestown Community Center Director, Johnnie Kindell as the new BCYF Hyde Park Community Center Director, and Raymond Heath as the new BCYF Mattahunt Community Center Director.

“Our community centers are the heart and soul of our neighborhoods, connecting families with resources and opportunities that kids remember for the rest of their lives,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m thrilled to welcome James Burke, Johnnie Kindell, and Raymond Heath to new roles running our BCYF sites, and I’m confident their dedication to our communities will serve residents well.”

This is an exciting and unique time for BCYF, bringing on three new center directors to lead community centers in Charlestown, Hyde Park and Mattapan,” said Marta E. Rivera, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. “James, Johnnie and Raymond bring a wealth of experiences and skills to their sites. We look forward to achieving great things together.”

The center directors supervise employees and volunteers, and develop, implement and monitor programs, operational policies and procedures within the community center. They also oversee building management and security, prepare and administer budgets and handle other administrative functions. A key part of the job is working closely with the volunteer councils that support each of our centers with fundraising and program implementation. BCYF currently has additional center director vacancies. Visit the City of Boston Career Center for more information.

James Burke was born and raised in Boston and grew up attending and obtaining his first job as a teen with the BCYF Roche Family Community Center in West Roxbury. James was hired in 2018 as an athletic assistant followed by athletic director at BCYF Gallivan Community Center in Mattapan before becoming a program supervisor at BCYF Charlestown Community Center in 2021. James has held jobs at four community centers during his time with BCYF. 

“I’m excited for the opportunity to provide Charlestown with relevant and effective programming to meet the diverse needs of this historic community,” said James Burke, Center Director at BCYF Charlestown Community Center. “I look forward to building new relationships and strengthening existing ones in this new role to ensure the success of our community center.”

James has officially started in his role at BCYF Charlestown

Johnnie Kindell comes to BCYF from Boston Public Schools where he was a community connection coordinator. He worked at BCYF for fourteen years before leaving for BPS. Johnnie started his career at BCYF as a BCYF Holland Community Center Council employee in 2002. He then went on to be a youth worker at the Holland for eight years and then a program supervisor at BCYF Roslindale Community Center for six years.

"I am thrilled and honored to be rejoining this incredible organization as the new BCYF Hyde Park Community Center Director,” said Johnnie Kindell, Center Director at BCYF Hyde Park Community Center. “It is a privilege to be part of a team with such a stellar reputation for making a positive impact in the community. I look forward to working alongside the dedicated staff and volunteers to further the center's mission and make a meaningful difference in the lives of the people we serve."

Johnnie officially started at BCYF Hyde Park on Monday, March 11. 

Raymond Heath was born and raised in Dorchester and attended the former John Marshall Elementary School which is the current location of the BCYF Marshall Community Center in Dorchester. After school he would swim at the Marshall and that is where he encountered former Center Director JD Dawson. JD made the Marshall pool a sanctuary for local youth and would always make the youth feel welcome. Raymond started with BCYF in 2012 and worked at two other BCYF centers before becoming a program supervisor at BCYF Gallivan in 2019. 

“I’m excited to become a Center Director because of people like JD,” said Raymond Heath, Center Director at BCYF Mattahunt Community Center. “He was a community person who made kids feel like we belonged. I want to give kids a safe place to express themselves, have fun, learn new skills with a sense of community. There’s nothing compared to being at a community center that’s the lifeblood of the neighborhood. I'm grateful for the opportunity to do the work I love and thankful for getting the privilege to serve the Mattapan community in any way I can.”

A ribbon cutting for the newly renovated BCYF Mattahunt with Mayor Wu is scheduled for Thursday, April 25, at 11 a.m. The public is encouraged to stop by this event and learn more about Raymond and the center.

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