The Positive Impact of IBA’s Youth Development Program

The Positive Impact of IBA’s Youth Development Program

IBA’s Youth Development Program (YDP), a “National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award” recipient, transforms the lives of the young people who participate by sparking their interests, building self-confidence, and fostering bonds that lead to lifelong friendships.

IBA’s YDP has a proven track record for fostering socio-emotional, intellectual, and artistic growth. It provides life-changing academic support, job readiness, arts education, leadership training, civic engagement and advocacy opportunities to students ages 14 to 18.

Connection is at its core

During the year, there are two program cycles that run Monday through Friday. The fall cycle guides participants’ involvement after school, from 4pm to 6pm. The summer program runs from July to August from 10am to 3pm. Participants for both cycles are selected based on an application and interview process. IBA’s skilled and dedicated staff, who help oversee this selection process and program implementation, are known for their ability to connect with candidates, and their willingness to continually shape our program with initiatives that prioritize social connection at its core. Everyone involved is committed to creating a positive and safe space that engages students. Once the program begins, participants receive a stipend, part of the SuccessLink program run by the City of Boston.

Integrated and varied programs

According to YDP Director Sandra Soto, “Our program is unique, flexible and adaptable to the needs of our youth, and our holistic approach of incorporating arts and the studies of humanities allows us to stand out from other offerings.” IBA’s YDP prioritizes the creation of a safe space where students can build strong and positive relationships with one another and with the supportive and caring adults around them. Using an integrated approach, our program includes workshops and development opportunities in a variety of areas, all while students learn to find their voice and express themselves in new ways.

Student participants have access to academic support resources including homework guidance and check ins with staff, enabling them to discover various paths to excel. Professional training includes resume workshops and mock interviews. Students also engage in manager to subordinate practice sessions, ahead of many starting their first jobs. Financial empowerment also takes a lead role in our program, as students learn financial responsibility and management.

Why support for youth development programs is essential

IBA’s YDP takes pride in promoting postsecondary education planning for all students. Throughout their time with us, they participate in a variety of tours with trade, two-year, and four-year schools to explore all the options and resources available to them locally and nationally. IBA continues to partner with Northeastern’s pre-college program, which allows our students to experience firsthand what a four-year college experience would be like. Our YDP is designed to expand students’ horizons and enable them to imagine a range of options for their future. When given the proper tools and adequate resources, our students can become leaders in the Boston community, shaping our Commonwealth into a more equitable place for all.

Join us in supporting our youth’s academic needs, increasing their access to a more equitable education, and nurturing their leadership potential, by donating to our efforts at the link below: