Pedro Cruz is a proud first generation American-Puerto Rican son, brother and father to three beautiful girls. He is a lifelong resident of the City of Boston and a product of Boston Public Schools. Through Pedro’s leadership and commitment to Latinx and urban youth, he has helped young people gain and develop academic, critical thinking, writing and artistic skills. Pedro is an accomplished artist himself, and seizes his own creative talents to engage youth in conversations about the challenges and opportunities they face, providing them the space to be civically involved and become change agents.
Before stepping into his role as the Director of the Office for Youth Engagement and Advancement in 2023, Pedro was the Director of IBA’s Youth Development Program in Villa Victoria. He is an organizer at heart and was able to mobilize not only the young people, but also members of his team and Villa Victoria residents. Pedro helped expand the youth program and increased community participation during his tenure at IBA. Throughout the pandemic, he helped create virtual learning pods to support students during the virtual learning experience. During this time, he also created virtual youth programming to assure they continued to serve the young people during the pandemic. Growing up in the community and going through the program as a teen, Pedro became a strong role model and mentor to the young people. It is often that we hear from participants how Pedro’s guidance, coaching and mentoring have helped them stay on track with their academic, personal and career goals.
Pedro completed a two-year community fellowship program at Massachusetts College for Art and Design. He also enrolled in the Institute for Nonprofit Practice (INP) to sharpen his management and leadership skills. The INP is a rigorous program that demands reading and learning about the field’s best practices. Pedro was accepted into the program with a full scholarship and recently graduated from the INP program.
Pedro is very personable and an effective communicator, which helps him connect with diverse segments of the community as well as with policy makers, funders, and influential leaders. He has become a strong Latino leader committed to the youth, to equity and to community development.
When Pedro isn’t working with youth in the community, he is at home spending time with his daughters, making art or riding his bike around the City.