We are a team who cares about kids
Led by a committed Board of Directors, Dennison’s core staff has worked at the Center for decades. A life-long resident of New Bedford, Sean Hargraves has guided Dennison for 31 years. Joe Neves, has dedicated 26 years as Dennison’s chief program administrator and technology specialist, and Joe Gill, a former high school teacher at NBHS, has enthusiastically overseen the physical education/athletic programs for 30 years.
In addition, we have a team of part-time, multi-lingual staff who assist us in implementing our programs. Many of these individuals attended Dennison as youth and are very familiar with our community. Staff are CPR and first aid certified.
Our mission is to improve the educational attainment and personal development of at-risk youth and families by providing education, recreation and intervention services in a safe environment.
Situated in the neighborhoods of the south end of the city, Dennison Memorial Community Center has been in existence for over 100 years. Through our programs and individualized services, our staff aim to promote solid values, self-esteem, and give each child the tools to develop and grow into a responsible adult.
Dennison offers an array of after school and summer athletic, academic, and artistic programs for youth from the first grade through high school. For an annual fee of just $20, a child or teen may become a member.
Dennison Center is one of the oldest non-profit agencies serving the New Bedford area. Formed in 1826 by the Ladies’ City Mission Society to care for the poor and needy families of the city’s south end, the organization was formally incorporated in 1868. Dennison served the burgeoning immigrant population that arrived to work at the large textile mills in the area to help them assimilate into a new country, culture and community. Renamed Dennison Memorial Community Center in the 1970s, the focus shifted to a non-sectarian mission devoted almost exclusively towards children most at-risk.
After decades of being exclusively devoted to providing child and youth/teen programs, the Board of Directors recently decided to return to the agency’s roots and begin to develop services for adults, especially the families of our youth in the south end.