YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AT LENA PARK COMMUNITY CENTER
Victor Brandao, Youth Development Manager (617-533-8133 ext. 22)
Victor joined Lena Park in March of 2017 to expand and broaden the Youth Development activities for teens. Currently, the Teens have completed a two-month long project to bring the issue of “teen depression and suicide” to their peers, in an effort to learn and share methods of prevention. They partnered with teens from Wellesley, MA who are part of Interact (a teen program of Rotary International). The Wellesley teens have been trained by professional psychologists to give workshops to children and teens on preventing depression. Hundreds of children and teens have participated in these workshops. This adolescent wellness program has now spread to other cities and towns in Massachusetts as well as schools in Puerto Rico and India. The Lena Park Youth Council completed the training and presented to their peers at its last TEEN CAFÉ on Friday, April 29, 2017.
In July of 2017, the Youth Council will announce its Friday Night Teen Café Program for the academic year. A list of the monthly activities will be available and posted on our website. All Teen Café events are free of charge.
The Youth Council is now planning its weekend retreat in June of 2017 to evaluate the 2016/2017 year and to plan its agenda for the 2017/2018 school year.
Local high school teens who wish to participate in advocacy initiatives on teen issues in Boston and Massachusetts and who want to expand their leadership skills can apply for membership in Lena Park’s Youth Council. Youth Council candidates must complete a membership application form and participate in interviews with staff and Youth Council Leadership. The 15-members of the Youth Council receive either a monthly stipend or a paid hourly position. Members of the Youth Council must commit 8-10 hours per week to advocacy and leadership activities, along with work assignments within the Center between September and May.
Likewise, middle school students who want to learn about leadership and advocacy are encouraged to apply for membership in the newly-formed Middle School Youth Council. This 15-member group is all volunteer, but preference for the Youth Council paid positions will be given to youth who successfully achieve leadership skills in the Middle School Youth Council. This group will meet 2 hours a week throughout the school year and work with the teen leaders on events and activities. Middle school students interested in leadership should contact Victor Brandao for more information and to set up an interview.
All youth leaders participate in the Youth Jobs Coalition, a statewide advocacy group for teen jobs.
Lena Park is committed to employing local teens both during the school year and in the summer. Lena Park relies on both public and private funding to support about 20 jobs during the school year and at least 30 jobs in the summer. Lena Park works with the Private Industry Council and Madison Park, as well as Boston Centers for Youth and Families to secure funding.
School year positions include: Front Desk administrative support, recreation assistants in the gym, junior staff in the After School Program “Kids Connect”, and Youth Council.
Summer Teen Jobs include: Front Desk administrative support, Junior staff in “Kids Connect”, Fab Lab Assistants, Computer Lab Assistants, Visual Art Assistants, and Assistant coaches in Hoops and Books.
Teens who are at least 15 years of age but not yet 19 are eligible. To apply, youth should pick up a Youth Job Application form and return it once completed, along with a cover letter and resume’ to Victor Brandao, Youth Development Manager.