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Teen Cafés came into existence in 2007, to reduce the sharp increase in youth violence gripping Boston.
Funding from our supporters like the District Attorney's office of Boston, the Boston Police Department, and the Department of Conservation has allowed us to operate the Teen Café program. The program has spanned into Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan for more than 10 years. The program provides youth the opportunity for empowerment and enrichment. Some of the youth, get to work at sites, providing them with compensation and an opportunity to grow leadership skills.
We have provided 10,000 young people to develop peaceful strategies to prevent youth violence through our Teen Cafes and employed more than 350 youth. This program is not done without all of our partnering organizations.
Summer Youth Programming for ages 12-17 years old.
In 2015, there was a shift in our strategy and we are now focusing on an area of the city that is often under-funded and overlooked and is known for gang activity, crime, and poverty: Lower Roxbury, specifically from Massachusetts Avenue to Dudley Street, and Tremont Street to Washington Street. There are very few resources in this neighborhood that consists of the Lenox/Camden Housing Development, Madison Park Village, and Grant Manor. This includes Roxse Homes, Camfield Estates, and Mandela Housing Developments.
In 2016 we are operating a minimum of 15 Teen Café events and activities to offer an alternative to violence and to build leadership skills in our youth. Through the Boston Health Commission, we are bringing Healthy Champions to this community to focus on healthy eating and education to make positive lifestyle changes. Also, our youth are training under a professional chef to learn how to cook and eat healthy foods.
In partnership with the Boston Police Dept., Vibrant Boston, and the Boston Public Health Commission we are working with youth across the housing developments as Youth Peer Leaders developing peaceful strategies and activities to bring youth together and to reduce gang violence.
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