Mayor’s Youth Summit Set for February 24

Special to the Patriot-Bridge

After 20 years since it was last held, Mayor Michelle Wu is hosting the Mayor’s Youth Summit on February 24, an event to celebrate youth and create opportunities for them to connect with City resources and other young leaders in Boston. The Mayor’s Youth Summit aims to engage and inspire the City’s young people in a fun and interactive way. Along with the Mayor’s Youth Summit, the Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement (OYEA), in partnership with community organizations and other City agencies, will host more than 20 free events for teens across the City of Boston throughout the week of February vacation, as part of Youth Week.

“Boston’s future is in our young people, and we’re lucky to have their leadership and energy to build a city for everyone,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I look forward to an exciting week culminating in this historic summit.” 

“We are thrilled to be able to work with our many partners to host the Mayor’s Youth Summit,” said José Massó, Chief of Human Services. “Boston is blessed to have so many bright, talented, engaged young people and the Summit will be an opportunity to celebrate them and to create space to learn more about how we can better meet their needs.” 

The City, together with youth-serving partner organizations, is hosting more than 20 events for teens during this week of February vacation, concluding with the Mayor’s Youth Summit hosted at Artists for Humanity on Saturday, February 24. The goal of these events is to create safe spaces for young leaders to connect and have fun during this school break, with programming ranging from open mic sessions, to music showcases, workshops, career fairs, sports fairs, and more. 

The free Mayor’s Youth Summit, designed for teens 14-19, is a celebratory event where Boston’s youth can engage directly with City staff, providers, and each other. The goal is to showcase the various opportunities offered by the city, and partners, to encourage more significant social investment, and foster enthusiasm for leadership and civic engagement among younger generations. Throughout the summit, participants will have the chance to engage in thought-provoking discussions, work on interactive art exhibits, see outstanding youth performances, and connect with like-minded peers from diverse backgrounds. The event will feature Mayor Michelle Wu and Cousin Stizz, a rapper and songwriter from Dorchester, as keynote speakers. Stizz, who currently resides in Los Angeles, California, will speak about his experience growing up in Boston and what it took to become a successful recording artist. 

The Mayor’s Youth Summit was first held in 1994 and was held annually for 10 years. The 2024 Mayor’s Youth Summit will mark the 20th anniversary since it was last held and 30 years since its inception. The City has brought this event back with new energy reflecting the values and interests of Boston’s youth. The relaunch of the Mayor’s Youth Summit was made possible under the leadership of Pedro Cruz, the inaugural Executive Director of the Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement. In the development of the Summit, he recognized the importance of supporting youth to engage directly with local government and leaders in their community to foster a vibrant civic culture, responsive to all demographics. 

Pedro’s story of leadership and commitment to Latinx and urban youth begins with his own experience as a proud first-generation American-Puerto Rican child growing up in Boston, being a part of Boston Public Schools and Boston Centers for Youth & Families. After becoming the inaugural Executive Director of the Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement, Pedro has shaped the City’s vision of what it means to engage authentically with youth as partners in the work of improving the City. His vision for the reinvigorated Youth Summit is to focus intentionally on creating a summit environment that will resonate with youth.

“The Mayor’s Youth Week and Summit are important because the young people of this city need to know we are willing to invest in them,” said Pedro Cruz, Executive Director of the Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement. “We aim to create spaces where they can tap into their leadership and be connected to resources.”

The event will have free meals, giveaways, awards, performances, activities, and resources for youth. Activities will include an interactive art wall, festival games, a self-care station, a 360 photo booth, and more. Youth will have access to a multitude of resources, including mental health resources, job providers, LGBTQ+ support, and food access. There will be performances by 617Peak, Beat the Odds, Teen Empowerment, and Boston’s Youth Poet Laureate. The Office of Youth Engagement and Advancement will be presenting the Youth Leader Award at the Summit, open to all Boston youth ages 14-19 who demonstrate high levels of leadership and/or commitment to civic engagement.

“The decision to revive the Youth Summit highlights the substantial investment the city has made in our youth. We are deeply grateful for the opportunity to bring our young people together to connect, collaborate and celebrate each other,” said Camila Pineiro, Founder of Beat the Odds. “Mayor Wu’s unwavering dedication to our community is evident, and her commitment serves as an inspiration for the positive change we aim to achieve.”

For all events hosted by Mayor’s Youth Week, please visit

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