Grantee of the Month
Teens Lead @ Work – Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health
Each year, thousands of young people enter the workforce across the Commonwealth, many for the first time. Nearly 1,000 will be treated in emergency rooms for work-related injuries and an unknown number will experience sexual violence and not know how to respond. A part-time job can easily become a life-long nightmare for these young people.
A group of Boston youth is spearheading an effort to prevent more young people from losing their lives or becoming injured at work. Youth leaders from the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health’s (MassCOSH) Teens Lead @ Work, a Boston Women’s Fund grantee, will bring together sixty teens from across Eastern Massachusetts for a three day conference during April spring break to promote young worker safety and health.
Known as LEAPS – Leadership Education and Action to Promote Safety – the conference provides an opportunity for youth to gather information about workplace safety, develop leadership skills and return to their communities to implement a project that promotes safe jobs for teens in their communities. Youth come in teams with an adult advisor, can attend for free, stay overnight at a hotel, and receive a cash stipend when they report back on their project.
The conference will feature workshops led by young peer leaders as well as special presenters from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, Health Resources in Action, MassCOSH, Department of Public Health, Attorney General’s Office, Youth workers, teen peer leaders and experts on safety and health will all be on hand at various times throughout the conference to speak to the media.
Teens Lead at Work is a youth-led program based in Dorchester and is the only youth-led labor rights advocacy organization in Massacusetts. Since TL@W’s inception in 2001, peer leaders were crucial in getting reforms to the Child Labor Law bill passed in 2007. In addition to their advocacy work, TL@W also offer’s workplace violence prevention education workshops, as well as outreach to other youth groups to teach about young workers’ rights.