Center for Teen Empowerment Names Abrigal Forrester as ED
Forrester, who will assume his new duties next month, will replace Stanley Pollack, who has served as executive director of Center for Teen Empowerment (TE) since he founded the organization in 1992. Pollack will transition to a part-time role focused on consulting and dissemination of the teen empowerment model.
Lauren Lapat, board chair of TE, noted, "We look forward to Abrigal bringing his dynamic personality, innovative ideas, and deep understanding of our communities and the issues young people face as he leads Teen Empowerment into its next phase of growth."
Since 2014, Forrester has served as director of community action at Madison Park Development Corporation in Boston, responsible for youth leadership and workforce development, civic engagement, public safety, resident leadership and engagement, and health equity/community wellness.
Prior to that, he was as director of criminal justice initiatives at YouthBuild USA, where he oversaw, among other initiatives, Start Making A Real Transformation Initiative (SMART), funded by the Department of Labor, monitoring nine subgrantees in five states.
Earlier, Forrester worked for StreetSafe Boston and the Urban League of Massachusetts.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and studied at Boston University's Institute for Non-profit Management.
Founded by Pollack in 1992, TE took its teen empowerment model to Rochester, New York, in 2003 and Somerville in 2004. Each year, TE employs more than 120 youth who conduct over 250 initiatives that involve more than 5,000 youth, residents, public officials, and police in efforts to build peace, tolerance, and community.
The teen empowerment model is made up of a set of beliefs that are actualized through a system of group building, skill development, and behavior management methods, and implemented through "a common-sense operational structure."
According to TE, the models methods and operational structures have been adapted over the last several years as effective tools for building relationships and increasing productivity within adult group work settings and increasing the effectiveness of other youth and educational service providers.
Research conducted in 2013 by Dr. Russell Schutt at the University of Massachusetts Boston found that statistically significant evidence suggests that TE's efforts were responsible for a 50% decrease in the level of juvenile crime in Somervilles highest crime neighborhoods.