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Last updated: 5/1/17

Youth Lead the Change

Youth Lead the Change is participatory budgeting process where young Bostonians decide how to spend $1,000,000 of the City’s budget.

The Mayor’s Youth Council runs this process and shares rule-making authority with youth organizations across the City.

Where are we now?

write the rules
collect ideas
develop proposals

Collect ideas: December - January

Everyone is welcome to propose project ideas, no matter how old you are or where you live.

We hold public events to collect ideas throughout the City, plus smaller “pop-up” discussions in classes, after-school programs, clubs, and public spaces like T stops, malls, and supermarkets. You will also be able to submit your ideas online and through social media.

You can request translation and interpretation services from the button requesting our team to come to you to collect ideas.

Develop proposals

In the spring, volunteers called Change Agents turn ideas into projects for the public to vote on.

We train Change Agents during orientation sessions, when they join a committee to develop project proposals around specific issues.


You can vote to decide what gets funded if:

  • you live in Boston, and
  • are 12 – 25 years old. 

You can only vote once. Voting locations will be at schools and T stations across Boston. If you are a Boston Public Schools (BPS) student, you can vote online. After the vote, Mayor Walsh will announce the winning projects and assign projects to a City department with a dedicated project manager.

2017 projects you can vote for:

  • BPS Renovations: New lockers for Brighton High School.
  • Cultural Street Art and Latin American Walk of Fame: This project would create cultural street art and a walk of fame.
  • Homelessness Resources: A digital billboard displaying resources and job opportunities available to the homeless youth.
  • Mobilizing Health Centers: A truck or car that provides medical materials and some outpatient services to youth.
  • New Trash and Recycling Bins.
  • Future Media Center: A space that would contain recent technology that would otherwise be unavailable to most students.
  • Get Home Safely: Students returning home from school and work would be provided with safe travel provided by police call poles.
  • Performing and Visual Arts Center: A space where people of all ages can come together and create all types of art.
  • The "Get Hired" Truck: A resource truck devoted to provide youth with the ability to search for jobs, build and modify resumes, and give them access to search and apply for jobs.
  • Mobile Youth Retail Space: A mobile retail space for youth entrepreneurs.

Voting at MBTA Stations:

Voting will take place 1:30-4 p.m.

  • June 2 - Roxbury Crossing Station, Mission Hill

  • June 5 - JFK Station, Dorchester

  • June 6 - Copley Station

  • June 7 - Forest Hills, Jamaica Plain

  • June 8 - Roslindale Village Station

  • June 9 - Ruggles Station, Roxbury

  • June 12 - Downtown Crossing and Boston Common

  • June 13 - Ashmont Station, Dorchester

  • June 14 - Maverick Station, East Boston

  • June 15 - Orient Heights, East Boston

Voting at Boston Public Schools:

Voting will take place during school hours.

  • June 2 - Boston Community Leadership Academy/New Mission High School

  • June 5 - Madison Park Vocational/Technical High School /O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science

  • June 6 - Brighton High School

  • June 7 - Burke High School

  • June 8 - Snowden High School

  • June 9 - Boston Latin School

  • June 12 - East Boston High School

  • June 13 - Urban Science Academy /West Roxbury Academy

  • June 14 - Boston Latin Academy

  • June 15 - Boston International High School

Past winners

Project Title Funding Status
New sidewalks for new parks (2014) $110,000 Complete
Security cameras at Dr. Loesch Family Park (2014) $105,000 Complete
Paris St. extreme makeover (2014) $100,000 Complete
Techknowledge - Chromebooks for high schools (2014) $90,000 Complete
Franklin Park Playground upgrade (2014) $453,000 Complete
Skate park feasibility study (2014) $50,000 In progress
Boston art walls (2014) $60,000 In progress
Wicked Free WiFi for students (2015) $119,000 In progress
Water bottle refill stations (2015) $260,000 In progress
Boston Latin Academy gym renovation (2015) $475,000 In progress
Hubway expansion (2015) $101,600 Complete
More trash cans and recycling bins (2016) $80,000 In progress
Job and resource finder app (2016) $135,000 In progress
Parks are for everyone (2016) $500,000 In progress
Wicked Free WiFi 3.0 (2016) $150,000 In progress
Link Up: digital billboards in schools (2016) $100,000 In progress
Sunshine and books (2016) $25,000 In progress