by Nathan DeJesus, Intern
Teens are at the forefront of making change and using their voices to make their beliefs heard. Throughout high school I’ve become passionate about advocacy and communications and found support through various organizations. From the socioeconomic perils of therapy for POC to five movies to watch before graduating, these three student-based non-profits are giving teens a platform to make change by enhancing their writing and communications skills and helping them strengthen their voices.
Teens In Print (TIP)
Having previously worked for TIP and having been on their student editorial board, I have a lot of great endorsements for the organization. This subsidiary of WriteBoston is dedicated to improving the core writing skills of students of the Commonwealth by offering trainings to teachers and programming to students. Directly serving more than 500 students over the past year and indirectly reaching more than 7,000, TIP is an important and necessary program open to students grades 8-12. From college essays and hard news to a podcast (featuring yours truly) and listicles, TIP gives students valuable skills that they can take with them to college and beyond. TIP is primarily an after-school program, but they also run a summer journalism institute that is paid, for those who are eligible. It is a six-week intensive program about, you guessed it, journalism! TIP solidified my interest in journalism and strengthened my writing, and I credit a lot of my love for communications work to them.
How to support
You can offer your experience and knowledge to a student journalist in need of a quote or interview for their articles here. Also, become a judge/reader for Rising Voices Awards, which are presented to select student journalists at the end of each cycle.
This Boston non-profit is dedicated to helping marginalized students amplify their voices. Similar to TIP, 826 is a publishing organization that believes a student’s writing skills are fundamental to their success. Youth participants have praised and recommended the programs from 826 – ranging from college essay guidance and after-school tutoring, to publishing projects and helping English language learners. Serving over 4,500 students ages 6-18, 826 maintains annual partnerships with 150 teachers. 826 Boston is one of nine locations within the 826 network; the others being in San Francisco, Ann Arbor/Detroit, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York City, and Washington, D.C.
How to support
826 is always looking for corporate volunteering and partnerships. Read more about those here.
With three regional offices—in Boston, Chicago, and New York City—Bottom Line provides high school and college students from low-income backgrounds with mentoring and support throughout the college process. Their college access program guides students through the application process by pairing them one-on-one with a college mentor who helps the student craft a college list, write an essay, apply for financial aid and scholarships, and break down any obstacles they may encounter. Using their Deal rubric, Bottom Line college advisors help college students in four areas of their lives: Degree, Employability, Affordability, and Life. Over the years, Bottom Line has served a diverse population of over 8,000 students in three states.
How to Support
Bottom Line has many ways to get involved, including individual volunteering opportunities and corporate partnerships. Some of the options are volunteering, hosting an event and participating in their auctions! All those options and more can be found here.
All of these programs are dedicated to uplifting student voices in Boston and preparing them for the next steps in their academic journey. As a result of their efforts, students like me can enter higher grades and the college process with more confidence in our voices and writing skills, and overall academic talent. With your support, these programs can strengthen the skills of many future change-makers and leaders in business, non-profits, and government.