Youth Leadership Development for Ages 12-15

What is VOICES?
VOICES is a 6-workshop positive youth development series that focuses on leadership and civic engagement. VOICES supports youth by providing a space for groups to explore their personal experiences and identities, and developing leadership skills that participants can use in their individual lives and communities to make changes they are interested in seeing. Through sharing and critical analysis, participants understand the value of their voice and experiences in decision-making processes on all levels, from their relationships to their families to schools to state policies.

VOICES is part of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) STRIVE Initiative. Scroll down for a full description of the STRIVE Initiative.

VOICES consists of 6 workshops, which are divided into three sets. The first set focuses on the exploration of identity. The second set deals with who participants are in relation to other people, and the third asks participants to think of themselves within their community.

Workshops will take place once a week for 6 weeks at the YWCA Central Massachusetts. Each workshop is 2 1/2 hours long.

For questions about VOICES, please contact Kate McGrath, Lead Youth Development Coordinator, at 508-767-2505 ext. 3003 or kmcgrath@ywcacm.org.

STRIVE Initiative Overview
The STRIVE (Successful Teens: Relationships, Identity, and Values Education) Initiative seeks to work with youth between the ages of 10-15, reaching them prior to initiation of sexual activity and risk for unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, the STRIVE Initiative will prioritize working with youth who identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, male, and LGBTQ.

The core component of the STRIVE Initiatives will be a positive youth development curriculum created by The Posse Foundation in collaboration with MDPH titled “Valuing Our Insights for Civic Engagement” (VOICE). In the long term, the curriculum intends to build youth leadership capacity and identify youth leaders as representatives at local and state levels.

VOICES at YWCA Registration

Download and complete this application form and return or fill out the form below.

Please send all completed forms to the following address:

YWCA Central Massachusetts
Attn: Aquatics Department
1 Salem Square
Worcester, MA 01602