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 youth--check out this great art contest for Black History Month! ... See MoreSee Less

#DidYouKnow growing up, Malcolm X stayed for long periods at this house in #Roxbury? His sister, Ella Little Collins, civil rights activist & important influence on young Malcolm, did, too. From February 1 through February 16, we want you to visit one or more places related to Boston’s black history and submit artwork inspired by them. More about the #BlackHistoryMonth art contest here: Historic Boston Inc. - HBI

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Powerful dialogue on education in Somerville yesterday! Thanks to Somerville Public Schools Committee members Carrie Normand, Paula Girouard O'Sullivan, Andre Green, Ward 4 Somerville School Committee member, Lee Erica Palmer, Somerville Ward 3 School Committee and Laura Pitone, Ward 5 School Committee for joining us! Shout out to Full Circle/Next Wave School and East Somerville Community School (Official) youth leaders for their participation! ... See MoreSee Less

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MA Friends--Join us and hundreds of youth and adults February 22! ... See MoreSee Less

Its that time of year; Rally time! IHAF's "Dreams Of Our Future" Rally will be held February 22nd at Old South Church! Check out our flyer below for more info and we hope to see you there! #Youthquake #IHAF #BOSPoli

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See you Monday 12-3p Rochester! Freedom: Reclaiming Our Throne. ... See MoreSee Less

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TE Boston-Somerville Cross-site meeting! #somanyYOssomuchPOWER ... See MoreSee Less

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TE Rochester youth and staff are in Albany today advocating for funding for public education with Alliance for Quality Education of New York #IamPublicEd ... See MoreSee Less

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