We Belong Leadership Academy Empowers Youth Resilience

The ability to handle stress is an important skill for all of us to cultivate this year, particularly our youth.   This summer, the We Belong Leadership Academy, in partnership with the Child Resiliency Program at MGH and professionals from the Benson Henry Institute, are holding twice weekly stress management groups for over 80 middle and high school aged inner-city youth.

The Youth Resiliency Program, through live and virtual meetings, focuses on well-established stress management tools to help youth recognize the sources and impact of life stressors, implement relaxation and mindfulness tools, implement cognitive strategies to address negative self-talk, and identify healthy behaviors and sources of well-being.

The live meetings are held at District Hall in the Seaport thanks to their generous donation of meeting space at their incredible new community space!  Thank you @DistrictHall.   Participants are eating well also, very well.  Gather, a Best of Boston award winner, has donated lunch to the group twice a week!  All participants and PAL are grateful for Gather @gatherboston and The Briar Group @BriarGroup for their support and generosity.

Graduates of the program will become Boston PAL Resilient Youth Leaders and incorporate their acquired knowledge and tools into a coherent coping plan for themselves, as well as a resource to teach these skills to their peers throughout the community.

The Boston PAL Resilient Youth Peer Engagement initiative will encourage our young leaders to advocate for resiliency practices by virtually engaging with peers who reach out for support, through a variety of vehicles – Youth Resiliency Meet-Ups; peer and social networks; police officers; mobile apps and through the PAL website.

The PAL leaders will empower resilience in their peers, helping them to uncover their full potential and be aware of their capacity to overcome difficulties quickly.  This summer’s We Belong Leadership Academy discussion theme and project is “This is Who I Am”.  Strong resiliency skills will help our youth become the best ‘WHO I AM’ even though trauma, loss of connection and negative situations be causing them anxiety .

Don’t stop until you uncover and practice your resilience!


This project was funded in part by a grant from the New England Patriots Player’s Social Justice Fund @newenglandpatriots


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