Youth Lead the 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.
2019-2020 voting results
Parks for All Phase 2: 3,297 Votes
Plant the City: 5,480 Votes (winning project!)
Boston Shelters: 5,476 Votes (winning project!)
Eat Local - Urban Farming: 3,590 Votes
Heat For Success: 4,100 Votes (winning project!)
Total votes: 7625
2019-2020 proposed projects
Creating more accessible parks for all Boston’s youth
Equipping Bostonian playgrounds with accessible and sensory equipment. Renovations would make parks inclusive, usable, and fun for all youth, regardless of physical ability.PROJECT B: PLANT THE CITY:
Plant more trees and plants to protect the environment
Invest in planting trees and plants around the City of Boston. Invest in more urbanized areas along main streets and sidewalks to fight climate change.PROJECT C: BOSTON SHELTERS:
Renovating Woods Mullen Shelter
Invest in the Woods Mullen Shelter by enhancing the physical space to create a more comforting space for those experiencing homelessness. Provide new or updated furniture, facilities, and equipment.
Grow locally sourced fresh food in neighborhoods
Invest in local urban farming in Boston neighborhoods by creating more accessible healthy food options. Target neighborhoods experiencing food deserts by:
- increasing funding for urban farming development
- creating more urban farms, and
- adding or updating urban farming equipment in City-owned vacant lots.
Update or replace school heating systems for a more productive learning environment
Invest in school heating systems to help students concentrate on their academics success and thrive in winter.
Where does voting happen?Voting locations
Vote at a location in your community. You'll get the chance to interact with the Youth Lead the Change staff and get more information about the process. Check the list of community locations below to see if there will be voting near you!
December 10, 4 p.m.
BCYF Roslindale Community Center
December 13, 4 p.m.
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
December 17, 4:30 p.m.
Lena Park CDC
December 18, 5 p.m.
New England Aquarium
December 19, 5 p.m.
Boston Public Health Commission
December 19, 4:30 p.m.
Aashka Dance Company
December 20, 6:30 p.m.
Vote Fest gives youth an opportunity to decide how to spend $1 million of the City’s capital budget. By participating, youth will be able to receive a wide range of benefits from the community. In 2019, we partnered with Boston Public Schools to bring voting to thousands of youths and students.
- Adams Elementary School
- Boston Collegiate Charter School
- Boston Latin Academy
- Boston Latin School
- Brooke Charter School Mattapan
- East Boston High School
- Excel High School
- King K-8 School
- McCormack Middle School
- New Mission High School
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
Project status phasesProject status phases
This phase means the project has been voted in by the youth. Funds have been identified for the necessary department to begin the project.
This phase means the project will now be a part of a larger project. It could also mean the project is currently not feasible to complete. Therefore, the funds have been reallocated to support another project.
This phase means all parties involved have begun deliberating on and drafting how to put the project in place. This process includes:
- reviewing proposals
- getting the appropriate signatures on all documents
- creating a scope of work, and
- developing specific details that support the project's ongoing development.
This phase means the department putting the project in place has worked with all parties to design the project scope. The Youth Lead the Change committee is included in this process. They provide feedback to all parties involved.
This phase means all parties have agreed on:
- the project design (requirements and specifications)
- the cost
- timelines, and
- construction, which is is scheduled or underway.
This means the implementation, design, and construction are complete. The capital project will host a ribbon-cutting and or is available for public use
Past winnersPast winners
- beautify neighborhoods, and
- help the environment.
Project A - 858 Votes
Add Solar Panels To Buildings
Project B - 718 Votes
Youth Wi-Fi Lounge
Project D - 812 Votes
connect with other students
work on youth initiatives and projects
gain access to City agencies, and
apply for youth jobs.
Youth Lead the Change processThe process
Writing the rules is the first step of Youth Lead the Change. This is when we review the guidelines that we put in place 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 and includes members from underserved areas.
- Communicate decision-making roles to the Steering Committee and public.
During this phase, we collect initial ideas for community improvements 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.
- 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. We turn developed project proposals 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. 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 put winning projects in place.