Youth Development Program

The program empowers young people to think critically and excel academically, while building and improving their community.

First Lady Michelle Obama

IBA’s Creative Youth Development Program fosters socio-emotional, intellectual and artistic growth in young people between 14 and 18 years old, while helping them develop 21st century skills to be successful in life. In fact, the program was nationally recognized in 2016 by former First Lady Michelle Obama with a National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

The program provides academic support, job readiness, arts education, leadership training, civic engagement and advocacy opportunities. In a safe space, youth are encouraged to make decisions, plan and develop programs and events, facilitate discussions, and create art portfolios. Our young people are resilient and we build off their strengths to support them in improving their grades, complete high school and proceed to post-secondary education.

During 2020, our participants put together a testament to their strength, their thirst for Justice Equality and Community Responsibility. In this yearbook you will find that much needed hope for a better future, you will see how, offering young people the opportunity to work towards overcoming difficulties, gives them the chance to exploit all their virtues by finding ways to express themselves.


Stories from the
Youth Development Program:

“I became a better person and I learned to value the little things [...]”
IBA’s Youth Development Program (YDP) is a safe space for young adults located in the South End of Boston. ...
A Thank You Note from IBA’s Youth Development Program
Throughout 2022, IBA’s Youth Development Program (YDP) successfully organized various workshops which empow ...
Turning feelings into art - part II
IBA’s Youth Development Program (YDP) serves local young people, ages 14-18, by fostering socio-emotional, ...

Program Schedule:

Our program employs youth as peer leaders. We hire 25 youth as peer leaders during the school year and 30 during the summer.

School Cycle Description:

– October to May (28 weeks), Monday through Friday.

Daily Workshops: Our art workshops range from poetry and spoken word, photography and videography, to visual arts, movement and entrepreneurship. They are custom made to fit the needs and interests of our youth. We also offer Life Skills workshops, academic support, and community service opportunities. All of our programming has a strong social justice and civic engagement component, and our young people are actively involved in organizing, advocating, and using the arts as a means to spread the word about issues that affect them and our community.

Summer Program Description:

- July and August, Monday through Friday

Do you need a job this summer? Apply to IBA’s Creative Youth Development Program (YDP) an exciting job for high school teenagers where you’ll be part of a community of young leaders working together to create positive change in our community. You’ll take workshops in community building, art, and leadership, and participate in community action projects and challenging seminars to transform into a powerful agent for change.


For more information, please contact Sandra Soto, Youth Development Programs Director at (617) 535-1725 or

Youth Development Guide to College Admissions and Financial Aid: Click here

Youth Development Mental Health Resource Guide: Download here