Mayor Wu announces launch of TeenVentures, free summer programming for Boston's youth
Today Mayor Michelle Wu, the Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement (OYEA), and Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) announced TeenVentures Boston, a free programming series featuring events throughout the summer season open to teens aged 14-18. The weekend and weekday night events are being held across the city, both at BCYF centers and at local partner sites such as YMCA of Greater Boston and the Boys & Girls Club of Boston (BGCB). Fun, accessible summer programming for youth is part of the City of Boston’s broader summer safety strategy. BCYF, YMCA and BGCB are working in partnership to provide all of Boston's young people with free access to their programs and spaces throughout the summer season. Expanding opportunities for Boston’s teens to connect with their communities is also a top priority of the new Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement, first created by Mayor Wu earlier this year. A full list of TeenVentures events can be found on boston.gov/teenventures.
“TeenVentures builds on our work to make Boston the best city to raise a family, and to ensure our young people have a safe, fun summer,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “TeenVentures and its online website give teens and their parents a one stop shop to find free programming readily available in their neighborhood. Together with our partners at the City and across community organizations we’re making sure our youth have everything they need to have a fulfilling summer break.”
TeenVentures enables all Boston teens to gain access to any site operated by the YMCA, the Boys & Girls Club, or BCYF, opening up programming at no charge. The newly launched TeenVentures website offers a user-friendly listing of teen summer events offered by the city and youth development organizations, to help teens and families easily find engaging, local activities at times that work for them. Typically, the YMCA and BGCB have had membership fees and required sign-up for participation. Waiving these will help lower barriers to teen programming this summer.
“Our goal is to make it easy for teens and their families to know what’s going on in the city and to be able to find activities that are safe and fun,” said Chief of Human Services, José F. Massó. “Together with our partners at the Y and Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, we want to take a no-wrong-door approach to youth engagement so that there is free access wherever teens choose to go.”
“The mission of our office is to help the City’s young people stay connected to the opportunities and resources made available to them. We hope that TennVentures makes it easier for them to identify fun and safe spaces throughout the city this summer,” said Pedro Cruz, Executive Director of the Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement.
TeenVentures includes expanded programming at BCYF community centers aimed at engaging teens in a wide array of activities ranging from sports clinics in basketball and volleyball to DIY crafts and special outings to skate at Chez Vous, ride the rollercoasters at Six Flags and try for strikes at Boston Bowl. BCYF will also host four evening Fun Fests that will offer dinner, games, and family-friendly entertainment. The Fun Fests will be held from 5-7pm on July 20th, July 27th, August 10th and August 17th, at the BCYF Condon, Pino, Hennigan, and Perkins, respectively.
“We are so fortunate to live in a city that is rich in opportunities and resources for youth,” said Marta E. Rivera, Commissioner of Boston Centers for Youth & Families. “TeenVentures amplifies and facilitates access to these summer opportunities across our city.”
“Our city's young people are what makes Boston great. TeenVentures will be a critical resource as they navigate adventures in the city during the summer, and we're proud to be a part of the Mayor's initiative to prioritize families,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston's Nicholas President and CEO Robert Lewis, Jr.
"By combining forces on everything from free access to outreach to employment to swimming, we can truly meet the needs of our young people and families." said David Shapiro, YMCA of Greater Boston CEO. "The Y is proud to be a part of this ongoing public-private effort this summer and beyond to pool our resources, opportunities, and partnerships to make this the best city for young people, one full of connection, belonging, positive pathways, and continuous opportunity."
A full list of TeenVentures summer programming and participating sites can be found on the TeenVentures website. More on the City’s efforts toward a safe and fun summer, including programming and resources for all ages, can be found on boston.gov/summer.
ABOUT THE OFFICE OF YOUTH ENGAGEMENT AND ADVANCEMENT (OYEA)
The Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement (OYEA) works to uplift young voices in decision making processes and help advance the lives of young people across Boston through programming and resource connecting. OYEA oversees the Mayor’s Youth Council, the MBTA Youth Pass program and the Youth Lead the Change participatory budgeting process.
Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston’s largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 35 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs.