We are excited to welcome Francesco Tena as the new Director of Coro’s Participatory Budgeting Youth Fellowship (PBYF)! Francesco prepares young people to take on leadership roles in their communities. He started his career as a teenager in Boston City Hall, surrounded by adults who actually listened. Since then, Francesco has been dedicated to addressing youth employment disparities, developing meaningful civic engagement in local government, and empowering young people to take control of their future (and their budgets). Prior to joining Coro, Francesco worked in youth development for 10 years. At the Boston Public Health Commission, he supported youth programming designed to diversify the pool of health professionals in Boston. Francesco then went on to lead youth civic engagement for the City of Boston as the Manager of the Mayor’s Youth Council. In this capacity, he oversaw the first three cycles of Youth Lead the Change, the nation’s first youth exclusive PB process and winner of the 2016 Guangzhou International Award for Urban Innovation. Francesco then worked with the Participatory Budgeting Project for two years to guide and grow PB across the US and Canada, particularly in rural areas and in schools. Outside of work, you’ll find Francesco experimenting with the latest civic tech, upgrading his custom built PC, and trying on cool patterned shirts at a thrift store.

We are also thrilled to announce that Isabel Luciano will be continuing her work with PBYF as the Assistant Director. Isabel joined Coro in 2018 after spending several years training city staff and residents in North America to implement Participatory Budgeting (PB) and community engagement processes that meaningfully engage youth and low-income communities. Having seen first-hand how much can be learned about a neighborhood by opening decision-making processes to those that are typically left out of them, Isabel is passionate about helping to equip youth with the tools they need to impact their city. Isabel holds a Masters of Planning from the University of Toronto. Outside of work, she can be found roaming the streets of New York and finding new places to eat.

PBYF is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 program year. Click here to learn more about PBYF!