For Immediate Release
August 11, 2014
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
BOSTON – Mayor Martin J. Walsh presented the City’s first-ever Youth Enrichment Day Conference on Saturday, in partnership with the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston). Over 1,500 Boston youth between the ages of 15 to 18 years old participated in a series of professional and personal development workshops during the conference to complement their summer jobs experience.
Mayor Walsh addressed a full audience of young people as the keynote speaker for the day-long conference. Speaking candidly about his life choices, Mayor Walsh emphasized the value and importance of making the right decisions and encouraged all youth to stay on a positive path for success.
“It is an honor to be standing in front of our city’s future,” said Mayor Walsh “One of you here will be the next city department head. Others will be business leaders, creative artists, social activists. Someone here might be a future mayor. It starts with your dream.”
UMass Boston hosted the conference that included 30 different workshops presented in morning and afternoon sessions on campus. Workshops, some of which were peer led by Boston youth, focused on healthy relationships, financial literacy and education, professionalism, leadership development, advocacy, health and nutrition, entrepreneurship, and STEM education and careers.
“As Boston’s public research university, UMass Boston is honored to partner with the city to provide opportunities for our next generation of leaders,” said Chancellor J. Keith Motley. “Young people who work show higher rates of success in college and when they enter the workforce. The Youth Enrichment Day is a great way to begin laying that foundation for success.”
As part of the 2014 Mayor’s Summer Jobs Program, Mayor Walsh sought to offer youth an enrichment learning experience in addition to meaningful employment this summer. Spearheaded by the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment (formerly known as the Boston Youth Fund), the City opened the conference to youth currently employed by the Department to gain professional and personal skills. This summer, the Department has hired and placed Boston youth for employment opportunities at community-based organizations in collaboration with over 200 work sites across Boston.
“Part of cultivating future leaders is providing them with traditional and nontraditional tools for success in an ever evolving environment. Summer programming is not just about an employment opportunity, it is about developing young professionals to move our communities forward,” said Shari Davis, the Executive Director of Youth Engagement and Employment. Davis is an alum of the City of Boston’s youth employment program herself, having participated in theprogram 10 years ago.
Mayor Walsh has made youth summer employment a priority for his administration with a goal of placing 10,000 Boston youth in employment opportunities in partnership with the private and non-profit sectors in summer 2014. Since taking office, Mayor Walsh has engaged organizations across industries to encourage and support youth employment.
To learn more about youth employment, visit the City’s Department of Youth Engagement and Employment at www.cityofboston.gov/youthzone.