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

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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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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A peak inside last week's youth-police dialogue session with the new officers of the Somerville Police Department- we look forward to working together to improve youth-police relations and community safety. #changethenarrative ... See MoreSee Less

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At the 2007 Somerville Youth Peace Conference, a young Mark McLaughlin, in a speech that brought down the house, challenged "If you want to know what youth in Somerville need – they need hope and a vision of a future that is full of possibility and promise. I hope that is not too much to ask."

Last week Mark stopped by TE again, this time as a new Somerville Police Department officer. This was his second TE youth-police dialogue. He was a youth during the first one, a decade ago. #changethenarrative

We're so proud of Mark's accomplishments and look forward to our continued work together. We're confident he will use his new role to take the advice of his 20 year old self and help create a community where youth have hope and possibility and promise!

(photo shows Mark, left rapping in 2007 at a TE event and right at a TE youth-police dialogue in 2017)
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Teen empowerment is running an outdoor leadership opportunity for youth of Somerville, ma, 16 to 21. A spot and incredible opportunity has opened up to be part of an all expense overnight outdoor leadership program in New Hampshire White Mountains

You must be free for a meeting next tuesday (night) and free for the trip saturday, and sunday.

You will get FREE transportation, gear rental, lodge boarding, meals, and instruction. This is a great resume builder as you come along and learn outdoor leadership skills, then tie those lessons back to the issues at home in a short video.

No outdoor experience is required, just a willingness to challenge yourself and work in a team setting.

We want to fill the spot immediately so please any interested people email me sean, immediately.
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Now is the time for real, honest conversation. Take care of yourself and each other! ... See MoreSee Less

This is an important time to build relationships through real, face to face conversation and interaction. The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc.​ used Warm Up Questions and other interactive exercises to get the ball rolling at their dialogue in racism last night in Boston.

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Thanks to all who joined our #BreakTheBinds dialogue last night in Boston for being willing and brave enough to talk about racism. We look forward to our continued work together for racial equity. Special shout-out to our partners Atyia Martin & MORRE, and Thanks also to Hibernian Hall and ZUMIX! ... See MoreSee Less

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Great conversations happening at #BreakTheBinds dialogue on racism! Thanks for joining us! ... See MoreSee Less

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Thanks to Rochester City School District for inviting TE youth to present on school climate and Introduce Dr Joy DeGruy Publications this morning at the Leadership Summit for 300 administrators! ... See MoreSee Less

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