Frequently Asked Questions
We know you’re wondering, so here are some answers of the questions we hear the most.
What does UTEC stand for?
UTEC was originally known as the United Teen Equality Center. Since narrowing our focus to 17-25 year olds, we were no longer a teen center. The community knows us at UTEC, so we kept the name, though it is no longer an acronym.
Do young adults get paid?
Young adults are paid a stipend for participating in our intensive program. They are also eligible for additional hours for various enrichment and consulting activities they contribute to.
What geographic area do you serve?
UTEC started in Lowell and now directly services Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill, MA due to the intersection between these communities across the Merrimack Valley. Statewide, we serve organizations working with similar populations through our training center and impact youth through our policy work.
Do you have plans to expand your program?
We believe there is more innovation to be done to best serve our target population of proven-risk 17-25 year olds. Instead of spreading thin across a larger geographic area, our goal is to dig deeper in the Merrimack Valley and be a catalyst for change in criminal justice and reentry and share those best practices throughout Massachusetts and beyond through our Training Center.
Why “young adults?”
Young adults ages 17-25 have the highest rate of recidivism in the state, and across the country, yet most of them have aged out of various support systems that are designed for juveniles 18 and younger. What we now know about brain science is that young people are still developing until they’re 25, so they require similar support and guidance. Recognizing this gap in service to this key population, we decided to focus on making sure they are not forgotten.
How do you measure success?
Our goal is to reduce recidivism, increase education, increase engagement and increase employability among our young adults. UTEC young adults’ recidivism rate is one quarter the average of the state, and you can see more about how our young adults chip away at their goals in our Outcomes and Impact Report.
Do you take volunteers?
Due to the training required and the intensity of our work, we do not currently have a volunteer program. We do have pro-bono partners, and if you have an area of expertise that you believe would be beneficial to our team, please contact our development team.