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

In 2016, former First Lady Michelle Obama recognized our Youth Development Program with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

IBA’s Youth Development Program fosters socio-emotional, intellectual and artistic growth in young people between 13 and 19 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 through IBA’s partnership with Bunker Hill Community College.

"Being part of the IBA family completely changed something in me, it taught me how to be myself without being judged, and most importantly, I've learned how to love myself which I had been struggling in the past to do so."- Heidi Petion, 17 years old.

Program Schedule:

Our program employs youth as peer leaders. We hire 20 youth during the school year and 20 in the summer.

School Year:

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

– Weekly Workshops: The workshops range from performance poetry and spoken word, to hip-hop with lyrics and literature, fashion design, and more; as they are custom made to fit the needs and interests of our youth. They also have a strong component of politics and youth organizing, our young people are actively involved in organizing rallies and spreading the word about issues that affect them and our community. They are advocates for youth jobs and strive to effect change in policies that they believe in. Last year they played a crucial role in the new youth pass which allows young people to use public transportation for a significantly reduced fare.


Summer Program

July and August, Monday through Friday

Do you need a job this summer? Apply to IBA’s 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. Application due date: March 31st, 2017

Summer Basketball League

A separate program component is the One Hood Peace Basketball League. This league brings 13-18 year old boys and girls from different housing developments to play together on the same teams. Our goal is to foster neighborhood unity and provide a healthy physical outlet along with conflict resolution workshops in a neutral space. The league offers programming in a structured and safe environment. This program is offered in partnership with the BCYF – Blackstone Community Center, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, the Boston Police Department and the College of Public Health at Boston University.

For more information regarding the One Hood Peace Basketball League, contact Lauren Bard via email:

We are no longer taking applications for the summer peer leader position.

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Youth Development Updates & Announcements

Posted 8 months ago

We’re thrilled to announce our receipt of the prestigious National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award!