Developing Young Leaders

Twenty-two teens learned about civic engagement at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, and about entrepreneurship at the Junior Achievement Innovation Center as part of the Youth Engaged In Action (YEA!) summer program for income-eligible 13 year olds in Boston, Malden, Medford and Everett.

Thirteen is a tween stage — too old for summer camp, but too young to qualify for a youth jobs program like ABCD’s SummerWorks..YEA! seeks to fill this gap. Research shows that the middle school years are a critical time for young people.  

This hybrid program included online sessions and two field trips culminating with a graduation ceremony on July 29th

At the Kennedy Institute, having become senators for the day, participants learned about voting rights, gerrymandering and the importance of listening to constituents. Our YEA! Senate delegation closed off an amazing day by voting unanimously in favor of mock legislation that expanded voting rights.

Next stop, the Junior Achievement Innovation Center in Charlestown. Attendees designed their own mock business logos with the institute’s iPads during the online sessions. While onsite, they learned to use the center’s Glowforge laser cutter to engrave their designs into wooden bookmarks.