La Colaborativa is a hub for youth engagement and opportunity in the City of Chelsea. Youth programs serve young people ages 10-21, with a focus on community connection, civic engagement, leadership development, cultural pride, and career exploration. Youth are leaders within the organization, with plenty of opportunities to build new skills, be heard on the issues impacting their lives, and explore and celebrate their cultures of origin. All youth and their families receive wraparound supports to promote family stability which enables young people to thrive as learners and leaders. 

a masked individual administering a vaccine to another masked individual

Current Youth Programs

Youth Jobs

Each year, La Colaborativa hires and trains 200+ youth ages 14-21 through our Youth Jobs program. Youth can intern at La Colaborativa in one of our community engagement programs, or with an external employer partner. Local employers support our program and community by hosting interns, providing professional mentorship, and enabling young people to explore potential careers. Youth Jobs are available for summer (6 week) or school year (25 week) sessions. 


Summer Youth Jobs

Summer internships are for 6 weeks in July-August. Youth work 25-30 hours weekly and earn an hourly rate. La Colaborativa provides intensive work readiness training to participating youth to prepare them for successful internship placements with one of our programs or dozens of external employer partners. This highly popular program serves as many as 200 youth each summer and is offered in partnership with the City of Chelsea, MassHire Metro North Workforce Investment Board, and Commonwealth Corporation.

School Year Youth Jobs

School year internships last for 25 weeks from October – April. Youth work up to 10 hours weekly outside of school hours and earn an hourly rate. La Colaborativa provides intensive work readiness training throughout the year, along with leadership development opportunities, case management and family engagement to holistically support our young people. School year internships are currently offered in STEM, Business, Youth Organizing (RIOT Squad), and Recreation and Culture.

Youth Organizing RIOT Squad

La Colaborativa’s RIOT Squad is a team of youth organizers leading campaigns for change throughout Massachusetts on pressing issues impacting youth lives. Youth are hired and intensively trained as organizers. Their work throughout the year is to develop strategic organizing campaigns and unite and mobilize their peers to effect change. Youth voices are central to our organization and our community. We work to always ensure youth are heard on the issues that are important to them.

Youth organizers have been key leadership voices in La Colaborativa’s organizing for housing justice during the pandemic. They created a video featuring youth voices to raise awareness of the housing crisis and its impact on young people.

Desea Sonar

Desea Sonar is a free Saturday arts and cultural exploration for youth ages 10-14. Youth can choose from Guitar, Voice & Percussion (offered in partnership with Eureka Ensemble) or Hip Hop Culture, Music & Art (offered in partnership with Basement Trybe). 

Teen Nights

Monthly teen nights are opportunities for young people to gather in a safe space, connect with each other and their community, and explore new interests and activities. Events are free and feature food, music, arts, games and more! 

Sign Up for Updates

La Colaborativa regularly sends out updates on youth programs, including announcements when job applications are open, updates on youth employment, events, and scholarships. If you are interested in receiving updates on youth programs, please sign up through this form.

Recent News

Holiday Food and Toy Events

Holiday Food and Toy Events

The holiday season is fast approaching and La Colaborativa is continuing our tradition to provide meals and gifts to families in our community to make the season bright. Thanksgiving dinner signup is open now and dinners will be distributed Tuesday, November 23rd at...

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La Colaborativa Supports Local Women to Open Childcare Co-Op

La Colaborativa Supports Local Women to Open Childcare Co-Op

The pandemic threw many families into crisis, as they navigated the impossible balance between staying healthy, keeping food on the table, and caring for their children. With school and daycare shutdown, parents relied on a haphazard patchwork of childcare from...

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