Leaders of Tomorrow. 
Change-Makers of Today.

The Massachusetts Youth Activism Collective (MYAC) is a state-wide group of driven, civics-minded high school students co-creating a more democratic, just, and equitable state.

What we do

Our core purpose is to uplift youth voices in creating solutions to societal problems. We address these social issues head-on, educating ourselves and others, leading advocacy campaigns to change systems, and expanding youth roles in policy creation and representation.

Advocacy

Leading advocacy campaigns to make legislative changes to systems perpetuating inequity.

Education

Educating ourselves and others about societal issues and the importance of youth participation in civics and advocacy.

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Policy

Exploring how students can be partners in policy creation, in public school committees and in local and state government.

Representation

Expanding student representation in educational and governmental settings.

Our Current Campaigns

Student Representation

Alongside the Massachusetts Association of Student Representatives, MYAC is working to advance student representation on school boards across the commonwealth. We are current working on legislation to amend Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 71 Section 38M and make students full voting members of school boards, rather than “ex-officio, non-voting members.”

The Massachusetts Youth Leadership Coalition (MYLC)

When we work together, our voices become stronger. MYAC is leading an effort to unite youth advocacy organizations in lobbying for shared policy objectives. Current members include leaders from the Mass. Association of Student Representatives, Mass. High School Democrats, the Mass. Educational Justice Alliance, the Mass. Association of Student Councils, and more.

Mental Health

During the COVID-19 Pandemic, countless teens across the world have experienced an increase in mental health struggles. We will work to normalize conversations about mental health by creating more opportunities for teens to talk and provide support to one another. We also hope to promote pro-mental health policies in our schools and the state.

Health Care

Costs for health care and proper insurance have only grown during the pandemic, a time when proper medical coverage is most important. As a group, we will advocate for more affordable and broad-reaching health care policies so that everyone can have the security they need for a basic human right.

Climate Change

During this pivotal moment for our world, we seek to educate ourselves and others about the detrimental cost of climate change on the environment. We will promote changes to our fossil-fuel dependency and lifestyle choices. Our group also seeks to co-create policies that cut costs of new technologies and incentivize environmentally-conscious practices.

Racial Justice

We seek to combat the perpetuation of racial inequity in our communities and broader state. As a group, we will work to engage one another in conversations about race and enhance mutual understanding. Our next step is to research and address systemic racism and the barriers for people of color that are built into policy.

Join our work

Past Virtual Events

State-wide Conversation and Q&A with State Senator Jamie Eldridge – June 20th, 2022

State Senator Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) represents the Middlesex & Worcester district in the Massachusetts Legislature. On June 20th, we discussed with him the issues that most directly impact high school students, including but not limited to mental health, climate change, and student representation.

In addition, we discussed with the Senator MYAC’s Student Voice Project, a research and advocacy campaign focused on student representation in the commonwealth in accordance with state legislation.

Senator Eldridge, thank you for your crucial advice on how high school students can make a difference and key insights into life as an elected official!

March 5th, 2022 – Meeting with Guest Speaker Daniel Osborn

Daniel Osborn, Ed.D., is a Program Director at Primary Source, a Massachusetts-based education nonprofit that promotes global and culturally affirming teaching and learning. He is the author of Representing the Middle East and Africa in Social Studies Education: Teacher Discourse and Otherness and the creator and host of Joy and Conversation, a podcast about Jewish history and culture.

Thank you to Dr. Daniel Osborn for sharing your insights with MYAC and engaging us in important conversations!

January 28th, 2022 – Inaugural Meeting

The Mass. Youth Activism Collective had 30 students from 6 different high schools at its first ever state-wide meeting, hearing from Dr. Sherri Sklarwitz from the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. Dr. Sklarwitz spoke with us about how high school students can engage with their communities and leverage our skills and assets to take action.

Learn more about our guest speaker:

Dr. Sherri Sklarwitz is the Director of Programs at the Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. In this role, she: supports the many programs for students to engage in civic engagement opportunities at Tufts and in the surrounding communities; conducts research and evaluation on the impact of student programs; and facilitates connections with student organizations across campus. She earned her doctorate in 2015 from Boston University, and her research focused on designing assessments to understand how student attitudes can change after participating in global citizenship coursework. Prior to beginning her graduate studies, Sherri taught civics to middle school students in Somerville, MA. She earned her B.S. from Cornell University in Industrial and Labor Relations, and her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

We thank Dr. Sherri Sklarwitz for joining us for the first-ever state-wide meeting of the Massachusetts Youth Activism Collective!