The Center for Teen Empowerment is a youth organizing and social change program that has sites in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Somerville, MA, and in Rochester, NY. At each site, Teen Empowerment hires a group of youth, ages 14-21, and trains them as community organizers, providing them with the support, resources, and ongoing training they need to organize initiatives that involve both youth and adults in addressing community issues.
Teen Empowerment also provides consulting and training in our methodology, and we have published a book about how to run lively and productive meetings for people of all ages—Moving Beyond Icebreakers: An Innovative Approach to Group Facilitation, Learning, and Action.
Teen Empowerment brings Boston police and teens together to share their talents and in the process, build life-saving community. Read about it: Boston police join teens at open mic night.
Retired Boston Police Department Superintendent-in-Chief Daniel Linsky describes Teen Empowerment's work to facilitate needed conversations between police and young people as "important work, at a grass-roots level." Read the article.
Teen Empowerment is seeking a Marketing and Development Associate. See the Opportunities page for more information.
Watch TE youth organizer Freemonta Strong discuss over-suspension in the Rochester schools with other panelists on WXXI's Need to Know.
Teen Empowerment's Youth, Police, and Community Conversations event on December 9, 2014, brought together 40 Boston police officers and over 150 community youth and adults. Read about it in the Boston Herald: Teens and cops empowered to make a change. And read about it in the Globe: Boston police, teens, come together to talk about relations.
Teen Empowerment's Boston sites organized another youth-police community dialogue at the end of a busy and productive summer. Thanks to Commissioner Evans for attending and bringing so many of the command staff. Read about it in the Banner: Police, teens air differences in Teen Empowerment meeting.
Teen Empowerment in Somerville has also been doing work to bring youth and police into dialogue, as reported in the Somerville Times: Youth/police sessions break down barriers. The Somerville Neighborhood News reports here on a recent police-youth basketball game, with police and youth building their relationships as they work together on teams. We are grateful to the Cummings Foundation for a recent grant to support Teen Empowerment's work in Somerville.
The great work of Teen Empowerment's Rochester program is highlighted in this TV piece, profiling three TE youth: Teen Empowerment Youth Organizers move forward.
In 2013, UMass Boston released a comprehensive evaluation of Teen Empowerment's program in Somerville that concludes: "Teen Empowerment has succeeded in developing and maintaining an approach to engaging at-risk youth and reducing youth violence that can serve as a model for other communities. Its systematic approach to selection, engagement, and transformation provide the foundation for individual achievement and community change."
Youth Development Matters: A Proven Effective Anti-Violence Approach. David Price, executive director of Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation in Boston, blogs about the role of youth development and TE's programming in stemming violence and creating healthy communities.
Read about our executive director and TE's 20 year history in this 2012 Boston Globe column: "Teen Empowerment chasing a miracle in Boston."
Check out some great videos of TE youth and TE events at TeenEmpowermentTV on YouTube.
Teen Empowerment has produced a 25-minute DVD entitled Voices from Behind the Wall, featuring messages to youth from prison inmates in Massachusetts. We also have a curriculum and discussion guide to accompany the DVD. Click here to check out the DVD and the guide on YouTube. Order online. Here's an article about the "Voices" DVD (with video excerpts) from the Boston Globe: Prison counsel.
TE has 10 short videos posted on YouTube that illustrate how we work interactively to engage groups of youth and adults. See exercises in action from our book, Moving Beyond Icebreakers! Concentric Circles, Make It Up: Paper Chase, Wordstorm, Evaluation, The Human Knot, Name Wave, Warm-up Questions, Bag Toss, Zip Zap Zup with Foot-Stamp, and Wind Blows with Word.
Be a Friend of TE! To learn more about the Friends of Teen Empowerment, contact us.Download TE's publication, Voices of Children Left Behind in Massachusetts Public Schools.