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City launches Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement

Cruz, who was born in Puerto Rico and raised in the South End, got his first job working at the Blackstone Community Center.

“That’s how I was able to learn and really fall in love with community work,” he said. “Those years were crucial for me, and really set the foundation for my life’s work.”

Cruz attended Mass College of Art and Design, then went to work for the Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) community development corporation, first as coordinator of its Youth Arts Program, then as director of the Youth Development Program.

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