By Zach Carmosino
“My most vivid memory,” said 25-year-old Breannah Conward-Lewis, ”is learning that the Tobin Community Center has a backyard space with a garden. It gives me hope for having those kind of resources in the city. Just seeing the community gather back there made me really happy.”
As a youth development coordinator for the city of Boston, Conward-Lewis sees a burgeoning sense of community in Mission Hill. But she is concerned about gentrification.
“I would say there’s been a huge push out of families of color in this community,” she said. “There’s a lot more overpriced housing. A lot of new buildings have gone up. It’s more highly college populated, too, and not as accessible for families.”
In the face of increasing change in Mission Hill, she views her local upbringing as an asset. “Just being knowledgeable of what our community has to offer, that’s kind of been the role that I’ve played in all of this craziness.”
Despite the challenges faced by the neighborhood, Conward-Lewis is optimistic for the community’s future. Her faith increases every time that she helps a young person get a job.
“Something that gives me hope is knowing that there are still people who care to provide resources and fight for more resources in our communities,” said Conward-Lewis. “Being located here in Mission Hill, we’ll bring those opportunities eventually.”