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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Hey Boston- The weather may be frightful today, but Wed will be perfect for our Bball tourney! To enter, contact 617-427-1599 or #changethenarrative ... See MoreSee Less

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Thank you to all who came out for the Somerville Block Party yesterday in East Somerville. A special thanks to Aldermen Matthew McLaughlin, Mary Jo Rossetti, Jack Connolly, and Bill White, Chief David Fallon and the Somerville Police Department, Mystic Learning Center, Maureen Cuff Bastardi and the Senior Center, The Beautiful Stuff Project, and VilleSide Customs Company. ... See MoreSee Less

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Awesome #Somerville fun tonight! ... See MoreSee Less

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Villens--can't wait to see you 4-8p today at Chuckie Harris Park The popsicles and water balloons are ready for you! ... 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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The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. added 51 new photos to the album: Somerville Block Party 2017. ... See MoreSee Less

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#ChangeTheNarrative ... See MoreSee Less

Somerville Police and The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. joined residents of North Street Development to connect and discuss issues residents are concerned about. This is an event in the Walking Dialogue series this summer. Next week, we meet in Ward 2.#communitychange #workingtogether #communitypolicing

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Help us get money back that Gov Baker vetoed. Funding helps us do critical community work like the community block party we did today. We brought residents at a housing development, youth and police together to both connect in joyful activities as well as discuss issues residents are concerned about. ... See MoreSee Less

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We're still looking for some refs (paid gig) for our Bball tourney in Boston next week. Message us if you're interested! ... See MoreSee Less

3rd Annual Changing The Narrative Basketball Tournament

July 26, 2017, 4:00pm - July 26, 2017, 7:00pm

Come out to Teen Empowerment's 3rd Annual Changing the Narrative community basketball tournament and field day. This great event is in partnership with the Boston Police Department. There will be great music,vibes, and people! Come support the movement, let us show the rest of the world how great Boston and its members really are! Come to play or watch! Free food and entertainment. The tournament will be comprised of 6 teams and made up of 5 players (ages 15-21) but have a total of 7 members. Why is this you ask? Here at Teen Empowerment we are really big on changing the narrative, especially when it comes to community-police relationships. We are hoping to have officers and other members of our beautiful community play alongside each other, really bringing us together. If you have a team or a number of players in mind that you would like to enter into the tournament, please email me at or call me at 617-427-1599. These times in the world are quite scary but in order to seek the change for a better tomorrow we must come together and build community with one another not divide it! It is totally fine if people do not have a complete 5 person squad, there will be some shuffling of the players done to ensure everyone has a team. Men and Women are encouraged to play!

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