What Do Participants Say?

"An enlightening life changing experience that you will never forget."
"InIt provided a safe space that I've never experienced before. You can vocalize your opinions, express thoughts, and pose questions that you'd probably never be comfortable enough to ask in another setting."
"InIt has made me look at the world differently. It's been one of my greatest experiences from high school and is something I wish everyone had the opportunity to do." 

2015-2016 Partners

Academy of the Pacific Rim

Boston Collegiate Charter School

Boston Latin School

Boston Preparatory Charter Public School

Cambridge Rindge and Latin School

Cambridge School of Weston

Concord Academy

John D O’Bryant/ Dana Farber Cancer Institute

KIPP Academy Lynn Collegiate

Milton High School

Newton South

St. John’s Preparatory Academy

Swampscott High School

The Fessenden School

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InIt - Youth Leadership Initiative

YW Boston’s Youth Leadership Initiative (InIt) is a selective, ten-month teen development program that provides leadership and workplace skills and ignites a passion in high school students to create socially responsible communities. InIt’s goal is to build students’ abilities to work across differences and design, implement, and engage other teens in a community action project. These projects address inequities in their schools, community groups and neighborhoods. Administered by professionally-trained YW Boston staff and adult volunteers, the program introduces teens to peers from different racial, religious, socio-economic and geographic backgrounds and builds them into a network of student leaders who can affect change. 

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What happens in InIt?

The program runs from August 2015 – May 2016 and includes:

  • Immersion Week:  A week-long overnight retreat to deepen students’ understanding of society and themselves through “Real Talk” on social justice issues. Immersion week takes place Monday, August 3- Friday, August 7, 2015 on the campus of Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy, MA.

  • Saturday Program DaysMonthly workshops and service projects to enhance students’ skill set and deepen their understanding of how social justice issues impact health, safety, and education. Program days are from 9 am to 5 pm and cover these areas:

    • Community LearningExamine the impact of race, gender, and class on health, education, and safety

    • Leadership Development: Meet with Boston leaders and develop leadership skills

    • Community Service: Volunteer with disability programs, homeless shelters, food banks, and urban farms

    • Personal Skills Development:  Self-awareness, critical thinking, and listening and dialogue skills

    • Workplace Skills Development:  Workshop building, asset mapping, public speaking, fundraising skills

Dates of 2015-2016 Program Days:

Saturday, October 17
Saturday, November 14
Saturday, December 12
Saturday, January 9
Saturday, February 6
Saturday, March 12
Saturday, April 9
Thursday, May 12

  • Community Action Projects:  Coaching and support from InIt staff through biweekly meetings at the school or organization to support youth in the planning and completion of an action process that engages other students in addressing social inequities

  • Graduation:  A ceremony celebrating InIt graduates and the impact they have had in their schools and communities. Graduation takes place on Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 3 pm to 8 pm.


Why should schools partner with InIt?

  • The program can serve as foundation to support a school or teen organization’s growing commitment to community service and/or student leadership development, or as a complement to existing programs.

  • InIt also builds students’ college admissions profile, aiding them in pursuit of acceptance and scholarships.  88% of InIt’s alumni have attended a four-year college.

  • Since its founding as Anytown 25 years ago, more than 3,700 students have graduated from the program. Alumni include Boston City Councilor Tito Jackson, Facebook executive Erick Tseng, astrophysicist Emmanuel Fonseca, National Urban Fellow Karla Acevedo, and Springfield Renaissance Charter School Principal Stephen Mahoney, among others.

More Information for Students

More Information for Teachers and Administrators 

To speak to someone about InIt, please contact Julie Thayer at 617-585-5462 or Emily Conwell at 617-585-5463