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Last updated: 4/5/19

Youth Lead the Change

Youth Power + Youth Voice + Youth Vote = Community Change

Youth Lead the Change gives young people power over one million dollars of the city's capital budget. The process is youth led by Boston teens. The YLC process is informed by the Participatory Budgeting Project.

Vote Now!

Anyone aged 12-22 who lives, works, or goes to school in the city of Boston is eligible to vote. Voting lets you, as a young person, decide how the city spends money in your community!

Please select three projects to vote for. 

Vote NoW!

2019 Proposed Projects

Project A: Ball out Boston:

New hoops, nets, and resurfaced pavement for basketball courts in Boston’s public parks. Basketball facilities would be improved with vibrant colors and modern equipment.

Project B: Add Solar Panels To Buildings

Placing trash and recycling bins along streets in areas of need. More trash bins would:

  • prevent littering
  • beautify neighborhoods, and
  • help the environment.
Project C: Got Water?

Installing new and improved water fountains and replacing old ones in public parks. Fountains will feature water bottle filling stations to help reduce waste.

Project D: Parks for All

Renovating parks to make them more accessible for people with disabilities. New equipment would be installed to make parks more fun for everyone.

Project E: Blue Box Emergency Lights

Install blue emergency lights connected to 9-1-1 across pilot neighborhoods. This will help pedestrians feel safer walking late at night, or walking alone.

Project f: Solar seats

Installing solar-powered benches that charge phones and devices. These benches would be placed along bus routes with limited or no seating.

The YLC Process

YLC Process

Writing the rules is the first step of YLC. This is when we review the guidelines that we implemented last year and solidify how we want the process to go.

During this phase we:
  • Develop a timeline and workplan for each stage of the process.
  • Assemble a Steering Committee that is representative of the community & includes members from underserved areas.
  • Communicate decision-making roles to the Steering Committee & public.

Idea collection is the phase where initial ideas for community improvements are collected from Boston residents.

Qualifying projects must:
  • include improvements to physical City of Boston property like parks, community centers, schools, and libraries
  • benefit the general public, and
  • last at least five years.
Goals of Idea Collection
  • Get participation from as many underrepresented community members as possible. We want to maximize their voices in the process.
  • Educate participants about the program and the ways they can get involved.

Volunteers called Change Agents develop project proposal ideas with youth and city departments. Developed project proposals are made into a ballot for the public to vote on. 

Community members ages 12-22 vote on the three projects from the ballot that they would like funded. YLC Change Agents tally the votes to find which three projects won overall. 

Once the three winning projects have been identified, youth, city departments, and stakeholders work together to implement the winning projects.

Past winners

Past winners
Fans In Schools
Project A  -  858 Votes 

Install fans in schools that lack central air conditioning. This will provide a more comfortable learning environment in the summer.

Add Solar Panels To Buildings
Project B  -  718 Votes 

Place solar panels on City-owned property. It will help save money in the long-term. The City needs to combat climate change and address the fact that we are losing oil and fossil fuel reserves.

Youth Wi-Fi Lounge
Project D  -  812 Votes 

Create an accessible youth Wi-Fi lounge in Boston City Hall for students to:

  • connect with other students
  • work on youth initiatives and projects
  • gain access to City agencies, and
  • apply for youth jobs.
  • Informative homeless resources. A digital billboard displaying resources and job opportunities available to the homeless youth.
  • Performing and visual arts studio.  A space where people of all ages can come together and create all types of art.
  • Future media center. A space that would contain recent technology that would otherwise be unavailable to most students.
  • More trash cans and recycling bins
  • Job and resource finder app
  • Parks are for everyone
  • Wicked Free WiFi 3.0
  • Link Up: digital billboards in schools
  • Sunshine and books
  • Wicked Free Wi-Fi for students
  • Water bottle refill stations
  • Boston Latin Academy gym renovation
  • Hubway expansion
  • New sidewalks for new parks
  • Security cameras at Dr. Loesch Family Park
  • Paris St. extreme makeover
  • Techknowledge - Chromebooks for high schools
  • Franklin Park Playground upgrade
  • Skate park feasibility study
  • Boston art walls