United Teen Equality Center (UTEC)

The United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), founded in 1999 and based in Lowell, was the result of an organizing movement driven by young people to develop their own teen center in response to gang violence. Today, nationally recognized as a model youth development agency, our mission and promise is to ignite and nurture the ambition of Lowell’s most disconnected youth to trade violence and poverty for social and economic success.

Contact: Kodi Semon, Culinary Program Manager: ksemon@utec-lowell.org

Website: United Teen Equality Center

Organizational Focus

  • Local Economy, Skills Training & Employment: UTEC provides workforce development training, including a culinary program, with the goal of teaching valuable skills and strengthening the local economy.
  • Youth Programs: Culinary skills training program that teaches young people how to cook at home and professionally.
  • Urban & Regional Farming: Culinary program sources produce from regional farmers to bring local produce into the hands-on cooking programs, and sells some value-added products at the Lowell Farmers’ Market. The skills training program also partners with Mill City Grows to run workshops on preserving the harvest.

Projects and Initatives

Coordinators of the culinary program are currently working on a curriculum focused on nutrition education, food justice and food access issues. In addition to the culinary training program and food preservation workshops, UTEC is increasing their food storage capacity and is working on future plans to open a community kitchen.


  • Mill City Grows
  • New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
  • Lowell Farmers’ Market
  • Tufts University


  • Local Farmers
  • Food Distributors
  • Restaurants
  • Institutional Buyers
  • Youth Programs
  • Volunteers

Geographic Scale:



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