UMass Memorial Medical Center | Worcester, MA
The concept of the “Recreation Worcester” program (formerly Wheels to Water), now in its ninth year of operation, began in 2008 when antiquated pools in the City of Worcester were permanently closed due to the economic recession. As a result, the city was at risk for increased youth violence and gang involvement due to a lack of access to recreational activities. The city manager reached out to UMass Memorial’s executive leadership for help. Hospital funding enabled the launch of the program and leveraged private funds. Operated by the City of Worcester Youth Office, the program provides innercity youth with free, supervised recreational activities at 10 neighborhood sites after school and during the summer months.