FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Asbury Park, January 31, 2023 – Teen Think Tank Project joined the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County’s Teens Take the Lead initiative, a collaborative youth empowerment program aimed at helping local teens introduce meaningful social change within their community. The high-quality service learning program is a 9-month-long project that arms high school students from Ocean and Monmouth Counties with the social-emotional, research, communication, and problem-solving skills needed to identify and address real issues within their community.
Teens Take the Lead was developed as part of an ongoing collaboration between the Boys & Girls Club, the Grunin Foundation, and other Jersey Shore community organizations to empower area youth to make a lasting and meaningful impact within the community. The program guides aspiring teen changemakers through the various stages of social change. Teens work with stakeholder organizations to investigate personal passions, identify community issues, research potential opportunities for change, and activate a hands-on service project.
As a student-centered research program whose mission is to give teens a voice in the world they will inherit, Teen Think Tank Project was invited to lead teen participants through issue identification and research efforts. As the agency in charge of planning and executing the program’s research-centric modules, the Teen Think Tank Project relies on its experience leading high-potential students through the primary elements of fact-based dialogue and academic research.
“The Teen Think Tank Project was founded on the premise that teens will inherit social issues created by the generations that came before them. Therefore, it is our obligation to provide them with the skills necessary to address the issues that will impact their futures,” said Teen Think Tank Project’s Co-Founder & Chair, Matthew DeSantis. “Our program looks to empower teen changemakers and give them a voice to help address the systemic issues that they face. So, we are thrilled to partner with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County, an organization that has been empowering teens in our community for 85 years!”
“As teens plan and implement this program, they will develop the key social-emotional skills of self-awareness, social awareness, self-management, and responsible decision-making. Teens Take the Lead will provide enriching experiences and exposure to opportunities that help youth become strong leaders who create meaningful change in their community. We are so excited that Matt and the Teen Think Tank Project have joined us and our many exceptional program stakeholders to help bring this program to life,” said Douglas Eagles, Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Monmouth County is a private non-profit organization that serves children from some of the most difficult circumstances in the county. With units operating in Red Bank, Asbury Park, Neptune, and Long Branch, the Club serves more than 1,000 kids and teens annually. More information can be found at https://bgcmonmouth.org/ and on social media @bcgmonmouth.
Teen Think Tank Project is a student-run policy institute that fosters critical thinking, research techniques, and problem-solving skills to develop policy frameworks for real-life issues and empowers students to become changemakers. Teens find their voice and create change at www.teenthinktankproject.com or @teen_thinktank.
Matthew DeSantis is the Co-Founder of the Teen Think Tank Project. He has worked with socially conscious teens from across the globe to explore social justice issues ranging from climate change, racial equity, access to healthcare, financial stability, and educational equality. His has allowed him to connect with over 100 teen change agents and subject matter experts who are passionate about their work to solve societal issues. Through his work, he has co-authored and edited four policy framework papers and facilitated a number of panel discussions and presentations aimed at elevating the voices of teen change agents.