For the past 25 years, The Center for Teen Empowerment, inc. (TE) has generated the resources needed to develop, test, and replicate the Teen Empowerment Model which is a step by step approach to engaging youth in taking on powerful positions of leadership. Within the context of the Model, young people between 14 and 21 learn to develop and use their organizing skills, their stories, and their talents and dreams to create a strategy to change their community and own lives for the better. TE youth work in paid leadership positions in sites located in Boston and Somerville, MA and Rochester, NY to implement social change initiatives to positively influence the value systems and behavior patterns of their peers with the goal of lowering crime, violence, and self-destructive behaviors. Youth are also empowered to provide an informed and confident youth voice to the public policy debate and have real input into the issues that impact their day to day lives. These initiatives engage thousands of youth and adults in community improvement efforts each year. 

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Featured Stories


Boston, MA

“When I was 17, a close friend was shot and killed. His death took a toll on me. I wasn't able to go back to school. I started showing up later and later. There was one place I got to on time everyday – my job at Teen Empowerment. I went because they reminded me that they were depending on me and that I was a powerful person doing important work. TE didn’t ask me to move past the incident, they helped me use my story to empower others to turn away from violence and retaliation. And, TE helped me find my way back to school, and supported me through it. Teen Empowerment taught me to have pride in myself and my community. I gained the skills and confidence to stand up for myself and my values. Now I’m a college graduate and still use the skills I got at TE everyday.”


Somerville, MA

I will never forget the first time I almost lost my life on the streets over gang territory. It seemed much simpler to deal with the streets than to go home and watch my single mother struggle to keep food on the table. It felt like I was in an endless loop of disaster. My community was a mess and so was I. Luckily, I found Teen Empowerment. Without TE, I would easily be in a gang, dead, or in prison. TE really affected the way I looked at things. My time and mind became occupied and I stopped running around in the streets. Before, I always felt like I’d be the next guy to get caught up in negative situations. But soon I became the next guy to stand out as a positive influence. Now, I’m 22 and working at TE to help younger youth in my community make a difference. There have been a lot of positive changes in my community because of TE. I am blessed to be a part of that change.





Rochester, NY

After graduating from high school, I didn’t go straight to college and my life seemed motionless. No one would hire me and my neighborhood was not safe for me and my family. Then I got a job at Teen Empowerment and started not only earning money and learning new things, but educating others too. I became a performer, lyricist, and facilitator with opportunities to create hope and change in my community. Now I want to pursue a career in youth development and help bring TE to other Rochester teens.

News & Events

June Newsletter Highlights

What's the value of a youth job? Jobs keep teens safe, increase their chances of succeeding in school, and decrease their chances of joining a gang. But a job at Teen Empowerment can transform the lives…

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Job Opportunity: Boston Program Coordinator

The Center for Teen Empowerment Boston Program Coordinator Job Description Click here for full job description and application guidelines Job Responsibilities: The program coordinator position is multifaceted and instrumental to the success of our work. Program…

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Highlight’s From TE’s 25th Celebration More than 425 people, including current and former TE youth organizers, police, elected officials and supporters joined us March 30 in Boston to celebrate 25 Years of Impact and to honor our founder and executive…

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TE Studios Break The Binds

TE Studios announced the album release of "Break The Binds." TE Studios is a youth-run, adult-supported arts for justice project that aims to challenge the status quo by producing and showcasing socially conscious and progressive content…

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25th Annual Boston Youth Peace Conference Highlights

 TEEN EMPOWERMENT'S 25th Boston Annual Peace Conference was held on Saturday April 29, 2016 at @The Paramount Theater for 590 youth adults Some of Boston's greatest young talent acted in an entirely youth cast, as well…

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Many thanks to Mass Mentoring Partnership and the Kelly Family Foundation for recognizing the awesomeness that is Taya Hopkins and Hannah McMeekin this morning with a $20k KELLY scholarship to help Taya attend college this fall! The scholarship honors an empowering youth-adult partnership, and we couldn't think of a more deserving duo! ... See MoreSee Less

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We were at Anna Maria College again this time orienting 70 students and staff. Here's a picture of one of our favorite activities, concentric lines and freeze frames! ... See MoreSee Less

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Join Teen Empowerment for our First event of the Summer TE on the Block. We plan to take your traditional summer block party and add a TE twist, we'll have food, games, fun, and entertainment, all for Free. Come out and meet your neighbors, all ages welcome. ... See MoreSee Less

Summer on the Block

July 20, 2017, 5:00pm - July 20, 2017, 7:00pm

Join Teen Empowerment for our First event of the Summer TE on the Block. We plan to take your traditional summer block party and add a TE twist, we'll have food, games, fun, and entertainment, all for Free. Come out and meet your neighbors, all ages welcome.

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On Monday we were at Harvard University's campus, today we were at Anna Maria College! We had an amazing conversation about how to hold young people accountable but with a positive youth development approach. One of the participants expressed that last year's training really affected and shifted how he worked with youth. We love playing a part in building great youth work happening. Thank you to Umass Upwardbound! ... See MoreSee Less

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Join TE's Carlos and Taya tonight in Boston! They're speaking and performing for racial justice in Copley Square at 5p ... See MoreSee Less

Lift Every Voice: Musicians Rising for Racial Justice

June 21, 2017, 5:00pm - June 21, 2017, 6:00pm

Join a radically-inclusive, multigenerational summer solstice gathering of several hundred professional and amateur musicians coming together to listen, learn, and unite for racial justice in Boston, Chicago, and Cleveland! This Make Music Boston event will include: ● String Orchestra Elegy: String players are invited to perform George Walker’s Lyric for Strings and Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings in honor of hate crime victims. ● Community Sing & Play: Singers and instrumentalists of every background are invited to join a sing/play of civil rights protest songs including the Civil Rights and African-American anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing​. ● Youth Organizer speakers from Teen Empowerment: Carlos Barbosa and Taya Hopkins Sign up by June 14th by emailing include your name and instrument or vocal part in the subject line. Please note: ● This is a volunteer performing opportunity. ● There will be no string rehearsal, but sheet music will be available for SATB choir and orchestral/jazz instruments by June 14th, here on our Facebook page. ● SINGERS: There WILL be a rehearsal for anyone interested in going through the choral music the night before the event: Tuesday, June 20th, 7-8:30pm at Temple Ohabei Shalom, 1187 Beacon St, Brookline 02446. This project is supported by the Free for all Fund of The Boston Foundation. Presented by Make Music Boston & Play for Justice. Performance partners include Teen Empowerment, Coro Allegro and Palaver Strings. With string players from Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, A Far Cry, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Palaver Strings, Sheffield Chamber Players, and singers from Union United, Coro Allegro, Koleinu, Boston's Jewish Community Chorus, Mystic Chorale, Cambridge Community Chorus, Seraphim Singers, A Besere Velt, Boston Community Chorus and Greater Boston Intergenerational Chorus, VoicesHeard, Pops Gospel Choir, and several local church choirs.

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Happy #nationalselfieday from the TE Boston associate coordinators! Show us your selfie game TE peeps! ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks to Somerville School Committee member Lee Palmer for meeting with youth today to discuss education in the #Ville ! ... See MoreSee Less

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