The mission of Teen Voices is to support and educate teen girls to amplify their voices and create social change through media.
Teen Voices was founded in 1988 by two young" women in Cambridge, Massachusetts who believed in the power of girls and young women to create social change through writing and art. Their vehicle of choice was the production and publication of Teen Voices, a four-color, glossy magazine by, for, and about teen girls.
Our work with teen girls over the past twenty years tells us that media created by, for, and about teen girls is a vital and important force for positive social change. " We are still the only alternative print magazine created by and for girls in the country. Teen Voices is a vibrant place where girls' voices matter in new and exciting ways." Our local Boston program has a national, and even international, impact through the print and online magazines that reach hundreds of thousands of girls worldwide.
We help girls achieve personal and community transformation first by providing them with the tools needed to articulate what they know, want, need, and deserve." Through the journalism mentorship program, girls learn writing and editing skills, develop critical thinking, and understanding of social justice." They present what they know and learn at speaking engagements and through the magazine.
Our Local Constituents:
- 87 Boston teen girls take part in SHOUT! (Sisters Helping Other Unheard Teens) and work as Teen Editors and writers for the print and online versions of Teen Voices." Girls come from the Boston neighborhoods of Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, West Roxbury, and Brighton.
- Our teen constituents are 14 to 18 years of age; 82% come primarily from low-income families and 93% are girls of color (70% African descent, 18% Latina, 5% Asian), and 7% are Caucasian.
- 110 Boston neighborhood teen girls participate in Poetically Speaking, a forum in the Boston Girls Writing Community.
- 6 Peer Leaders run programs and public forums.
- 35 college women and recent college graduates are trained to mentor the teen editors in their production of Teen Voices' print and online magazines.
Like many girls, participants in Teen Voices are dealing with serious issues at home and in their communities. The issues range from racism, sexism, elitism, hunger, violence, depression, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual identity exploration, and unplanned pregnancy. For many, schools are not institutions that support their ability to address these issues, or their self-confidence. They need safe spaces to talk—with adults as well as peers—so that they can feel validated, supported, and informed. Some girls have support at home with parents, grandparents, teachers, or religious leaders; for others, Teen Voices offers a rare source of consistent, supportive adults." Teen Voices has two primary constituent groups—local girls in our programs and worldwide consumers of our media.
Our global constituents:
- 45,000 readers from 24 countries read Teen Voices print magazine.
- Internet visitors from 179 countries enjoyed over 275,000 page views of www.teenvoices.com this year.
 The consumers of Teen Voices products and services include girls and young women, adult women and men advocates who live and/or work with girls, and boys and young men who want to gain a better understanding of girls' perspectives.