To Benefit Teen Empowerment
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Additional Sponsors:

  • Bodymind Float Center
  • Yelp
  • Invest-In Services

Thanks to Southwest Airlines,
TE's 2014 Official Airline Sponsor!


Check out Rochesterhomepage.net's profile of three TE youth: Teen Empowerment Youth Organizers move forward.


Save the date for Teen Empowerment's annual Community Luncheon: Thursday, May 7, at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Read about the inspiration one attendee found at the luncheon, from Rochester Magazine: Suburban Outlaw: Progress powered by teens.


Our 2014 Community Luncheon on May 18 at the Riverside Convention Center celebrated the first 10 years of Teen Empowerment in Rochester.

Read about TE Rochester from the front page of the Democrat and Chronicle: Program aims to solve teen jobs problem.

Many thanks to all those who attended and supported this event, including our major sponsors:

Teen Cafe Nights & Community Meetings

The 2012-13 youth organizer group has been organizing creative initiatives at the TE site on Genesee Street involving more than 200 neighborhood youth so far.

Supporting each other in sharing their hearts, struggles and visions toward making real change, together.

Their participation in community forums has brought tangible, moving insights to community leaders.


Teen Empowerment Rochester and the Rochester Police Department have received the MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award for their work together to improve safety and strengthen community-police relations. Read all about it.

TE's unique youth hiring process was recently featured on News Channel 8:
Part 1-TE feature
Part 2-TE feature

Luncheon Logo We were so proud and moved by the response to our Annual Community Luncheon in May, 2012. The audience of more than 425 was diverse, from every sector of the community.

Watch our staff (youth & adult) in action, with friend Denise Reese on guitar:  TimE to Grow song!

This year, 27 current and former TE YOs contributed writing and presenting speeches, hosting and running registration, and mingling at tables with judges, business people, and community leaders. Youth speeches received standing ovations.

Here is the powerful video shown at the event:
Success means little without my community

Genesee Street Mural!

TE commissioned master artist Eder Muniz to work with 5 youth apprentices with close ties to the Southwest neighborhood to install a mural one block from our storefront site.

The mural replaced a drab concrete wall to radiate a spirit of hope and pride, spreading the visual reach of community engagement down Genesee Street where neighbors and students who attend Wilson Commencement and Foundation Academies must walk past boarded-up and burnt-out houses, street fights, and drug dealing every day. TE surveyed nearly 100 youth in the neighborhood to develop the concept for the mural, which portrays people bringing what they have to offer to move community forward together. 

The mural was made possible by contributions from NYSCA, Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester, The Synthesis Collaborative and McMannis Painting.

Watch this powerful performance by TE Associate Coordinator Shanterra Randle, whose poem is inscribed on the mural

Peace March 2012

At this Peace March, we marched in honor of Lawrence Richardson—our friend, colleague and mentor to next generation YOs—who was killed on April 9, 2012. Our devastation transformed into hope led by youth and by Lawrence's and other murder victims' families.

TE youth organizers created original chants and taught them to the marchers with the help of percussionist and performance artist Topher Holt.

The voices and unbounded energy of hundreds of youth and supportive adults drew an enthusiastic audience all along Jefferson Ave. and Flint St. with messages of unity and peace.

First-Ever Southwest Neighborhood Youth Summit

The youth organizers used their first SW Neighborhood Youth Summit to challenge their peers to understand and approach “the game of life” in a new way—no longer playing into traps that get people stuck and fuel violence, and instead, building unity and power to get the resources and attention their community needs.

The YOs collaboratively created a one-hour show that included an original play, monologues, spoken word, hip hop, speeches, and a video of Lawrence promoting his message of non-violence and steering away from retaliation.

Male-Female Dialogues

Consistently, thousands of Rochester youth in TE focus groups over the past 10 years had identified teen pregnancy and dysfunctional, and sometimes violent, “drama” in relationships between young women and men as barriers in their lives. The past two years, 30 young men and women joined the youth organizers for the series—8 parallel sessions with males and females meeting separately and 5 sessions together—to examine and build understanding around issues that contribute to relationship drama that leads to street conflicts, domestic violence, teen pregnancy, absentee parents, etc.

TE enlisted the support of “community elders” to participate in the sessions—six women and seven men—which brought the richness and community wholeness of a rite of passage, two of whom had been involved with TE as youth.  Watch youth talk about their experience here.


Hanif Abdul-Wahid
Community Liaison
Monroe County Department of Planning and Development

Doug Ackley
Rochester Project Director, The Center for Teen Empowerment

Scott Burdett
Vice President, Marketing Brokerage Services
Flaum Management Co.

Jeffrey J. Clark
Senior Vice President, Global Commercial Marketing
Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Rick DeJesus-Rueff
VP-Student Affairs & Diversity Initiatives
St. John Fisher College

Eric Glenn
Former TE Youth Organizer
Entrepreneur & Student, Genesee Community College

Judith W. Kaplan
President, Community Planning Associates

John M. Klofas, Ph.D.
Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology
Department of Criminal Justice

Edward J. Nowak
Retired Public Defender, Monroe County

Danielle Ponder, Esq.
Assistant Public Defender, Monroe County / Artist

James Sheppard
Retired Chief of Police, Rochester Police Department

Shirley Sommers, Ph.D.
Director, Frontier Center for Urban Education
Nazareth College

Barbara Staropoli, SSJ
Vice President, Sisters of St. Joseph

Mary Staropoli (Administrator)

Eric Van Dusen
Chief Operating Officer, NeighborWorks Rochester

Cieara White
Former TE Youth Organizer
Technical Support/Customer Care Specialist
Time Warner Cable

Jeremy Wolk
Counsel, Nixon Peabody LLP

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