We highly encourage our youth to be civically engaged in their communities. That is why we have our youth plan and organize their own community service projects to participate in throughout the year. Youth also attend I Have A Future's Youth Jobs Rally advocating for more money to be included in the state budget for youth employment which has happened every year over the february break. Past commnity service events have included Boston Shines (a citywide, neighborhood-based street cleaning day), helping out at the Boston Food Bank and surveying local businesses about what they need from elected officials. Community organizing for social justice and advocacating for their futures allows our youth to take their inner voices public.
Arts & Entrepreneurship Programs
Members ages 11 to 16 can apply for Arts Entrepreneurship classes in dance, fashion design, glass arts, or social media. In each program, youth learn business skills ranging from budgeting, planning, marketing as well as the skills of the specific craft they are learning. The glass and fashion design classes sell their finished products; the dance program books itself to perform at community events around the city; and the social media group offers its skills to local community groups. Entrepreneurship programs pay stipends to help youth connect employment skills with income. Programs begin in July with full-day sessions, and transition to twice-weekly during the school year. All programs require a commitment for length of the school year. We aim to identify and nurtures the leadership potential of every member.
High School Youth Council
HSYC member will plans and attend workshops on leadership skills, public speaking, advocacy, mediation, conflict resolution, event planning, and youth philanthropy. The youth-driven agenda is largely self-governed with a civic engagement focus. Youth Council officers (President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary of State) are elected annually by a vote of the youth membership. Campaigns last one week and introduce youth to the democratic process. Youth will also be active participants in Ashoka's Youth Ventures project that takes place every year. Students learn to create a business plan that is socially beneficial to the community as well as sustainable in the long run at their organization. Then the idea is pitched by the youth to a panel of judges who award the funding amount of up to $1000 for the startup. Youth will also learn to fundraise by planning and organizing ways to raise money for programming and activities. In the past events hosted by the council's happened over February school vacation. The Winter Turn-Up dance was an event that attracted more than 100 teens and generates income for the council’s philanthropy and activities.
Middle School Youth Council
MSYC members will develop group priorities for their community service learning projects. Each year they learn business, promoting, and organizing skills through preparing for fundraising events such as Lemonade Day, Annual Bake Sale's, and other fundraisers. They also help take part in the implementation process for youth ventures assisting HSYC with the development of the products.
Girl's Fashion Design - In this program girls will learn how to sew, construct and design unique pieces of clothing using custom fabrics.
Expressive Dance - Youth get the opportunity to express themselves through different forms of dance including hip-hop, ballet, modern and more.
Social Media - Youth will learn how to effectively use social media as young business professionals. They will learn proper social media etiquette to protectthemselves when using social media as well as how to properly represent organizations they promote for.
Boy's Glassarts - In this program young men will get the opportunity to learn how to design, construct, and customize fine glass art pieces. Through a partnership with Diablo's in Roxbury youth get the hands on experience learning from professionals who enjoy teaching their craft. The glass art then goes out for distribution at our Kiosk in the Fanueil Hall Marketplace as well as online through our Etsy page at https://www.etsy.com/shop/BirdStreetCommunity.