Mayor Walsh Encourages Students to Submit Ideas for Boston

Boston students are encouraged to submit ideas to improve their neighborhoods.
Mayor Walsh Encourages Students to Submit Ideas for Boston

For the fifth year in a row, youth ages 12 to 25 in Boston, Massachusetts have the opportunity to submit ideas for how the City of Boston spends $1 million dollars of its Capital Budget through the "Youth Lead the Change" participatory budgeting process. Youth Lead the Change, the first participatory budgeting process in North America by and for young people, is currently collecting ideas from young Bostonians until Wednesday, February 14, 2018.

"Thanks to the hard work and innovative ideas of Boston's young people, we have been able to complete unique, community-enhancing projects across the city," said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. "By involving young people in the budget process, we are empowering our future leaders and supporting what really matters to them."

Over the past four years, thousands of young people have nominated projects for funding. Past projects selected for funding have included expanding Wicked Free WiFi, installing water bottle refilling stations at parks, placing newer trash cans and recycling bins in select neighborhoods, Boston Public Schools renovation projects, new security cameras in Dorchester's Dr. Loesch Family Park, and many more city-wide capital projects.

"Youth Lead the Change gives Boston youth the opportunity to play a role in their government," said Vikiana Petit-Homme, age 16, Youth Director for Youth Lead the Change. "We are given the unique opportunity to change our surroundings and improve the quality of life of young people across Boston. Every year amazing capital projects are made possible in Boston thanks to YLC."

Youth Lead the Change is managed by Boston Centers for Youth & Families' Division of Youth Engagement & Employment, and the Mayor's Youth Council oversees the process in partnership with youth organizations across Boston. The Mayor's Youth Council is a group of 85 high school-aged youth committed to improving their communities and empowering other young people in Boston.

Young Bostonians between the ages of 12-25 who would like to participate in the idea collection phase can submit their ideas at Ideas should be simple, bold, innovative, realistic and sustainable ways to improve access and opportunity for young people. Following the voting phase, volunteers will turn the ideas into projects in early spring, and then will set up voting locations for young people to select the final projects.

About Boston Centers for Youth and Families

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston's largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 36 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs including the nationally-recognized violence intervention and prevention Streetworker Program and SuccessLink, the Mayor's Summer Jobs Program.

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