Youth Lead the Change
Youth Power + Youth Voice + Youth Vote = Community Change
Youth Lead the Change (YLC) gives young people power over one million dollars of the City's capital budget. The process is led by youth in Boston.
Have questions? Contact:Youth Engagement and Advancement
Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
About Youth Lead the Change
Youth Lead the Change (YLC) started in 2014 as an initiative for youth-led participatory budgeting in the City of Boston. The YLC process is informed by the Participatory Budgeting Project.
Each year, the City of Boston invests one million dollars of the capital budget to YLC and gives young people the power to decide how it will be spent in their communities. Boston youth are invited to pitch ideas, develop proposals, and vote on three projects to be implemented in the City.
Capital funding in the City is used to make physical improvements to City property such as parks, community centers, libraries, and schools. YLC funding is allocated to each of the three projects to make improvements to the City of Boston.
In 2019-2020, Youth Lead the Change revised its schedule to a two-year process. This allows enough time to design, construct, and implement winning projects. Year one is dedicated to idea collection and voting on new projects. The second year is focused on the implementation of those projects. The 2019-2020 winning projects will be implemented in 2020-2021. Youth Lead the Change will collect ideas and vote on three projects in 2021-2022, to be implemented in 2022-2023.
2022 Votefest is Live
VoteFest is here and it's time to cast your ballot for 2022 Youth Lead the Change projects! Are you between the ages of 12-22 and live, work, or attend school in the City of Boston? Vote today!
Youth Lead the Change ProcessThe Process
As a first step, the YLC Committee of the Mayor’s Youth Council reviews the guidelines for YLC that were put in place the year before. The committee decides what the process should be for the next cycle.
During this phase, youth across the City are invited to submit their ideas for projects to improve their community.
YLC Committee members alongside City departments develop ideas into project proposals. The developed proposals are turned into a ballot for youth to vote on.
Boston residents ages 12-22 vote which projects from the ballot they would like funded. The three projects with the most votes are chosen to be implemented the next year.
There are three ways to vote:
Youth Lead the Change makes voting online as simple as clicking a link. The ballot will be available during the voting phase of the process.
- In your community:
Vote in person and interact with Youth Lead the Change staff at a location in your community. Location information will be available during the voting phase of the process.
- Attending Vote Fest:
Vote Fest takes place at schools in the City and gives youth the opportunity to vote on the YLC projects they’d like to see in their community.
Once the three winning projects have been identified, youth, City departments and stakeholders work together to develop and implement them.
Winning ProjectsWinning Projects
Planting trees and plants around the City of Boston, especially in more urban areas along streets and sidewalks. The goal is to both beautify our City and help fight climate change
Investing in the Woods Mullen Shelter, and enhancing the physical space for everyone. This includes new furniture, facilities, and entertainment for those experiencing homelessness.
Investing in local urban farming in Boston neighborhoods to create food access and increase community bonding. Specifically targeting areas that are considered food deserts by creating more urban farms in
- beautify neighborhoods, and
- help the environment.
connect with other students
work on youth initiatives and projects
gain access to City agencies, and
apply for youth jobs.
If you would like any information about past YLC projects, the YLC process or would like to get involved, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.