It’s been an especially hard year for young people in our community who faced remote learning, quarantining, and fear and anxiety about the pandemic. Their lives changed overnight and have yet to return to normal. La Colaborativa has stayed connected to these young people, recognizing they need us (and each other) now more than ever! We doubled down to do whatever it takes to support youth as they navigated a new world and continued to grow as leaders, creators and innovators.
This list of 2021 bright spots is brought to you by La Colaborativa youth:
- 200+ youth worked in paid internships in STEM, business, entrepreneurship, organizing, and arts internships. Career exploration was complemented by mentorship, intensive training, and mental health supports.
- Youth identified housing insecurity as a critical issue affecting their lives and produced a short film We’ll Shout Before We Get Pushed Out to raise awareness of Chelsea’s housing crisis and how our young people are being harmed.
- Youth shared their immigration stories through an original work, Raices y Alas (Roots and Wings) which was featured on stage at the Apollinaire Theatre Company in Chelsea.
- Youth joined the movement to Reclaim the Vote, focused on expanding municipal voting rights to all residents 18 years and older in Chelsea, including noncitizens.
- Youth entrepreneurs launched five new businesses this year – including a car wash service, apparel and accessory lines, and eyelash services. Youth are continuing to work with mentors to scale their business ventures in 2022.
- Youth interested in STEM fields had an opportunity to intern with researchers from MIT and NASA.
- Youth concerned about mental health impacts of the pandemic forged new connections with mental health professionals at Mass General Brigham and helped raise awareness and reduce stigma among their peers.
- Chelsea youth led the way in getting vaccinated and helped make Chelsea a standout. 95% of youth 12 and up are currently vaccinated.
With these young people at the helm, we are confident that the future of Chelsea and beyond will continue to be bright, no matter the challenges we face.