Since 1994, Youth on Board (YOB) has been a leader in the field of youth organizing in the Boston area and beyond. YOB was established as a program of YouthBuild USA to promote youth voice, train student leaders, and create programming that empowers young people to develop the knowledge, skills, empathy, and agency to succeed inside and outside of school. For many years, YOB trained adults and youth at participating organizations to improve how they involved young people in decision making and positive youth development practices. Though they still continue this work nationwide, the program evolved after a partnership emerged with the Boston Public Schools, and YOB began operating The Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC), a project that brings together high school leaders from across the city to make youth-directed change.
The Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) uses community organizing to give young people the tools to develop into civically engaged leaders, realize their self-worth and community value, and actualize their potential. The unique social change approach balances young people’s civic engagement with their personal development and builds meaningful relationships to create cohesive support systems among peers and adults. Young leaders in BSAC define issues that are most relevant to them, educate their peers about the issues, and develop collective solutions through school-based, local, state, and national campaigns.