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Last updated: 10/1/19

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.

2019 winning projects

Solar seats: 3,133 votes

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

Got Water?: 3,164 VOTES

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

 

green streets: 2,506 VOTES

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

  • prevent littering
  • beautify neighborhoods, and
  • help the environment.
2019 Winning Projects

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: green streets

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.

Where does voting happen?

Voting locations

Online voting for Youth Lead the Change is as simple as clicking the button below! Use your power to vote from the comfort of your couch or on the go. 

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 2019 community locations below to see if there will be voting near you!

  • BCYF Roslindale Community Center
  • South Boston neighborhood house
  • Boston Public Library Copley
  • Bird Street Community Center
  • The Strand Theater
  • Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation
  • Josiah Quincy Upper School 
  • Mission Safe
  • Artists for Humanity 
  • YMCA Oak Square
  • Boston Public Health Commission 
  • Hyde Square Task Force
  • New England Aquarium 
  • East Boston Youth Action Council
  • BCYF Tobin Community Center
  • Boston Scores
  • Boston Latin Academy

We partnered with MissionSafe and the Elections Department to bring voting to thousands of students at Boston Public Schools. 

Youth Lead the Change process

The 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.
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. 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.

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