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

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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In case you missed our PeaceBQ in Rochester this summer, here's a taste of the youth performance! ... See MoreSee Less

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New Youth Matters Media video captures the experience of some of our #Somerville youths' adventure in the mountains this summer with support from Appalachian Mountain Club Check it out! ... See MoreSee Less

Over the course of the Summer we partnered with Appalachian Mountain Club 's Youth Opportunities Program and Somerville Media Center - SMC to go into the outdoors, learn to lead, then bring our lessons back home. In the first video of the series we talk about lessons we've brought from one part of our lives to another.

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If you happen to see this guy (flat or 3D) today, please wish him a happy birthday! 3 cheers for Stanley Pollack! ... See MoreSee Less

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MA Friends--please join us at this important event! A small mistake as a young person can create a criminal record (even a sealed one) that can prevent an individual from joining their families in public housing, securing employment, getting into college and adopting children later in life. Expungement for misdemeanors committed by those under 18 decreases recidivism and increases positive outcomes for youth. ... See MoreSee Less

Expungement Lobby Day!

October 31, 2017, 11:00am - October 31, 2017, 11:30am

Join Teens Leading The Way and our allies for a rally and lobby day to advocate for the passage of juvenile expungement bills! We anticipate the State Legislatuire to be deciding on a variety of criminal justice bills this fall and we're having this event to insist that young people not be forgotten in the process.

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Happy Coming Out Day! As Ileana said at the Somervillle Peace Conference, a little love and respect goes a long way. Be an ally and a friend and help increase tolerance today! #NationalComingOutDay ... See MoreSee Less

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See you tonight Villens at Arts at the Armory Teen Open Mic! ... See MoreSee Less

Been Out Here's MAsk OFf OPEN MIC ft. Lu Cain :D

October 11, 2017, 6:00pm

B.O.H..Been OUt Here Open Mic is BACK better than ever holdingg it downnn at the Armory in the Ville every second Wednesday of the month!! We doing things a bit differently this time around starting with having a theme & special feature every month, activities that'll praise who you are and what you can do, discussions that may change your perspectives, prizes that reward your mind, body, and soul, and more :D This month's theme is: MAsk OFf 💀 The month of October we celebrate Halloween🎃👻 which allows you to be someone else for a day so on this day we are going to be ourselves and allow the masks to come off and stay off for the night so we can possibly get to know something new about ourselves🙈🙉🙊 Obviously, You really don't want to miss this month's special feature: 🎶Lu Cain who has the crisp vocals of a 90s ballad rock band with the rhythm and bounce of modern urban soul🎤😎 Trust'll need a cane after listening to him 😉😃 Lucas Kookus McCain SOOOO Bring your POEMS, your VERSES, your MUSIC, your SONG or most importantly just bring YOURSELF AND A FRIEND 😊 Come thru with things you want to try, and things you are ready to slay! Brought to you by: BOH Books Of Hope/ Mystic Learning Center The Center for Teen Empowerment, Inc. Arts at the Armory Somerville Arts Council Mass Cultural Council

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