17 year-old Boston resident and YES teen, Chris C., had his personal essay on advocacy for LGBTQ rights published in the Boston Globe this Sunday. Chris has been a Junior Volunteer Leader at YES since 2014. As a Junior Volunteer Leader, Chris taught Boston youth how to ski and snowboard and took part in leadership development workshops at YES. This summer, Chris was hired as a teen staff member at YES through the MLK Summer Scholars program, and wrote the featured essay during a civic involvement workshop with the program.
The MLK Summer Scholars program is operated by John Hancock and provides funding to local non-profits such as Youth Enrichment Services to hire Scholars for the summer. Scholars learn important job skills at their host site and help the organization deliver on its mission. As part of the summer experience, teen participants like Chris attend personal development workshops. In addition to workshops on civic involvement, the workshops also include important messages on social responsibility and leadership development.
In his featured essay, Chris denounces the lack of legislation protecting LGBTQ youth and encourages readers to, “educate themselves and to advocate for tolerance of all people, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity.” Read the full feature here.
Moved by Chris’s essay, YES Academy Director Shiona DeCarvalho remarked, “At YES, we create an environment which nurtures youth from all backgrounds. We are proud to see Chris become an advocate for acceptance and human rights in the Boston community; reflecting YES’s values in both his words and in his daily actions.” Chris is currently a junior in high school and plans to continue his involvement with YES as a Junior Volunteer Leader this school year.