My Brother’s Keeper Participant Speaks with President Obama

By the time he arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina last week, Devin Edwards had already undertaken the journey of a lifetime. Edwards, 22, grew up in hard circumstances on the streets of Boston. But as a young adult, he found a second chance learning to code in Operation Exit's Resilient Coders program, excelled in a paid internship in Boston's Health & Human Services Department through the Professional Pathways program, and delivered a speech this summer before Mayor Walsh, local media, and youth participants in the city's Summer Youth Employment program.

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Summer Employment Program Celebrates Success

Graduates of YOU Boston’s summer employment program gathered yesterday with Mayor Walsh, community leaders, public safety officials, and employers to celebrate the seven weeks they spent working jobs that benefited both the community and themselves. The program participants – all high-risk young people – beautified school grounds, prepared hot meals for residents, and planted community gardens, among other jobs. At wages of $10 hour, they also earned an average of approximately $1,600 for the summer.

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Young People Make Videos to Explore Race and Policing

While violent images on the national news expose tensions between law enforcement and communities of color, young people in Boston are creating their own images to promote dialogue. With the help of Press Pass TV, YOU Boston participants joined with other area youth to make videos that capture their perspectives on race and policing.

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Professional Pathways Gives Young People a Foot in the Door

From the back of the YOU Boston conference room, Khalif McCloud raised his hand to share his thoughts. "Without YOU, I'd still be the street person I was before," he said. "Without this program, there's a lot of strife out there. It's hard." His peers nodded in agreement. They were young, all 18-24, from high-risk backgrounds. Some had been incarcerated or court-involved. But because of the program they were here to celebrate, Professional Pathways, they were also something else entirely: successful young interns in city government.

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YOU Boston and Partners to Provide Training in Urban Farming

Mayor Walsh has announced the creation of the Urban Farming Pathways Initiative, a jobs training program for citizens returning from incarceration. The program, which will be overseen by YOU Boston, will train 25 young people in urban agriculture on a city-owned parcel. In its first year, the initiative aims to grow 5,000 pounds of healthy produce to distribute to 1,000 residents through five farmers' markets in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan.

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YOU Boston Participant Starts New Chapter as a Coder

Lawrence Brown, 26, needed a hand. When the Boston Center for Youth and Families streetworker program (which works with at-risk youth to de-escalate street violence) met Lawrence, they found a determined young person who needed employment. They referred him to Operation Exit, an initiative under Youth Options Unlimited Boston and the Mayor's Office of Public Safety.

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Now Accepting Referrals for the 2016 Summer Employment Program!

Summer is just around the corner, which means YOU Boston is getting ready for our 2016 Summer Employment Program. We are currently accepting referrals for any young person aged 14-24 who would like to take part in a meaningful employment experience this summer.

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SELF Graduation for Spring Session

On Tuesday, March 8, 2016 YOU Boston girls who participated in the spring session of the professional development program S.E.L.F (Self Esteem Lasts Forever) gathered together with program facilitators and staff to celebrate their successful completion of the program.

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