Discussion

Empowering young leaders, catalyzing change 

Today’s high school students are aware of issues going in their schools, in their neighborhoods, and in the broader world. Many of them care and want to take action, but lack the tools or support they need to do so. Each academic year our Youth Leadership Initiative – known as InIt – guides a cohort of students from across Greater Boston to:  

  • Learn about key social justice concepts  
  • Develop leadership, social and emotional, and workplace skills  
  • Design and execute community action projects to create positive change in their school or community

A comprehensive learning experience

The 10-month Youth Leadership Initiative includes a summer retreat, Program Days one Saturday per month, and ongoing work on a community action project throughout the school year. The program uses an experiential learning format to educate students on critical topics in social justice leadership, including:  

  • Housing equity
  • Education policy
  • Food justice  
  • Health equity
  • Immigration  
  • Criminal legal system  

Students combine their newly acquired knowledge and leadership skills to design, implement, and engage peers in a community action project that improves equity in their school or community. Action projects have taken the form of starting clubs, holding workshops and assemblies for peers, and advocating for school policy change. Check out the action projects of the Class of 2016