About Us

Our Mission:

To empower youth and adults as agents of individual, institutional, and social change.

Our Vision:

We envision a world in which youth with adults, in mutually respectful and supportive relationships, use their voices creatively to inspire, lead, and empower their communities to achieve justice and peace.

Theory of Change

With the right skills and resources, all youth, including high-risk young people, can think deeply about the difficult social problems and work successfully with others to create significant change. While youth are often seen as part of the problems facing urban communities, they are rarely engaged as part of the solution. Teen Empowerment helps youth find their voices and talents and use them to involve large numbers of their peers and adults in building peace, tolerance and community.



In 1992, Executive Director and Founder, Stanley Pollack began the Center for Teen Empowerment (TE) to involve low-income, urban youth in helping to solve the most pressing issues in their communities using the unique, interactive Teen Empowerment Model. Since then, Teen Empowerment youth, staff, and board members have worked diligently to meet this mission, with remarkable results for thousands of youth, adults, police officers, public officials, and social service workers. TE brought its successful Model to Rochester, NY in 2003 and Somerville, MA in 2004. Each year, Teen Empowerment employs more than 120 youth who conduct over 250 initiatives that involve more than 5,000 youth, residents, public officials, and police in efforts to build peace, tolerance, and community. TE also provides consulting, training and publications to help other service providers adapt our methods for use in their own programs. TE’s work is recognized nationally and has received numerous honors, including Collaborate Boston Award (2016), MetLife Foundation’s Community-Police Partnership Award (2012), Harvard University Ash Center Bright Idea (2010 and 2012), RIT Center for Public Safety Initiatives Award (2009), U.S. Mayor’s Conference Best Practice in Youth Development (2007), and Drucker Foundation Nonprofit Innovation of the Week (2004).