The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. helps low-income, urban youth hone their understanding of the social problems they face and use their talents and skills to create change in their own lives and in their communities. Working in Boston and Somerville, MA and Rochester, NY, TE employs youth ages 14 to 21 as the leaders of social change initiatives that positively influence the values and behaviors of their peers with the goal of lowering crime, violence, and self-destructive behaviors. Youth-led initiatives engage thousands of youth and adults in community improvement efforts each year and lend their voices and lived experience to the debate about policies that affect their lives. 

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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

Roc TE Times – Fall eNewsletter

November 2017 In this edition... Quick links: Welcome Shalinda! Our newest TE staffmember TE Graduates! YO original song promotes Peace in the Summertime Spotlight on former Youth Organizer: Abby Soto YOs host Iraqi students Institutional impact:…

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Job Opportunity: Somerville Community Facilitator

The Center for Teen Empowerment Somerville Community Facilitator Job Description Click here for full job description and application guidelines Job Responsibilities: The Somerville Community Facilitator will work with the Director of Consulting and Training to develop…

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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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Boston talent! Are you 14 - 21? Are YOU a singer? Dancer? Rapper? TE Studios is hiring! Call 617-536-4266 x311 for an audition. FREE studio time available! ... See MoreSee Less

Are you 14 - 21? Are YOU a singer? Dancer? Rapper? TE Studios is hiring! Call 617-536-4266 x311 for an audition. FREE studio time available!

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Teen Empowerment youth organizers were too close to this awful experience and are part of the hope that is moving our community and loved ones forward. Some of them appear in the trailer of this new documentary... ... See MoreSee Less

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Bringing youth voice into school policy in Rochester! ... See MoreSee Less

TE ROC City Young Organizer tells his story to the people at the RCSD Regents Forum.

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Excited to participate in the release of the 41st edition of the Social Innovations Journal, which includes an article by Stanley Pollack on TE! ... See MoreSee Less

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Congratulations to TE alum Cyrus DeShield on his Grammy nomination for best R&B album for his work on Musiq Soulchild's "Feel the Real"!!! Cyrus calls TE "a very important part of his musical development" and we couldn't be prouder of his achievements! ... See MoreSee Less

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