Arts + creative entrepreneurship = Artists For Humanity’s teen career pathways in Boston

Artists For Humanity’s mission is to bridge economic, racial and social divisions by providing youth with project-based STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) education, 21st Century Skills advancement, workforce training and job experience through paid participation in their Youth Arts Enterprise program. This combined approach addresses troubling statistics for Boston teens, including a crisis high in youth unemployment, a public high school graduation rate hovering at <66%, and research documenting that economically disadvantaged teens without paid employment during high school years are more susceptible to dropping out. AFH's Youth Arts Enterprise program connects youth with professional artists and designers as mentors, collaborating on innovative projects that promote active learning and advanced skills development in creativity, media, technology, critical-thinking, and problem-solving – all during the critical out-of-school hours.

This nationally recognized program has been widely hailed as a best practice model for effective mentorship, youth empowerment and social entrepreneurship. In fact, AFH was awarded Bank of America’s prestigious Neighborhood Builder® award in 2010, in recognition of the impact their programs have transforming lives by providing a pathway to financial self-sufficiency for some of Boston’s most at-risk youth. As a regular host-organization for Bank of America’s Student Leaders program, several local high school students have benefitted from unique summer jobs at AFH that encompass leadership skills development to develop the next generation of leadership in the nonprofit sector.

Miceal Chamberlain, Massachusetts state president for Bank of America, said, "Artists For Humanity’s impact in changing the lives of teens throughout Greater Boston by utilizing the power of art and creativity to steward them toward self-sufficiency and success is unparalleled. Bank of America is committed to making financial lives better, and a key way we do that is by supporting programs, like Artists For Humanity, that provide young adults with a path toward economic self-sufficiency and mobility."

In addition to program and operational support, Bank of America has connected AFH with innovative projects such as a commissioned large-scale sculpture to encourage recycling, which was installed in the lobby of Bank of America's Boston offices in 2015. For more information, visit


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