Trans Leadership Academy

MTPC’s Trans Leadership Academy ​​will develop a new generation of intersectional and multigenerational transgender and nonbinary leaders to create new opportunities in employment and education.

The Trans Leadership Academy seeks to alleviate major hurdles that trans and non-binary individuals face due to disproportionate rates of unemployment, incarceration, poverty, and houselessness among gender expansive populations, particularly for BIPOC trans people who face intersectional discrimination. This program will focus on providing trans and nonbinary individuals with skills, knowledge, experience, and support that they are often not afforded the privilege of gaining in traditional educational or workplace settings due to the aforementioned issues. By supporting trans people with workforce development, mentoring and training, and material and financial support in an affirming environment we hope to alleviate the issues of unemployment, economic inequity, incarceration and recidivism.

Join the first cohort of the
Trans Leadership Academy!

MTPC is excited to announce that the pilot program for the Trans Leadership Academy (TLA) is set to launch April 2023!

Who is this for?
This program is designed for transgender and nonbinary adults, who are BIPOC, low income, and/or formerly incarcerated who live or work in the city of Boston.

What to Expect

With a cohort of 7-10 individuals, participants will engage in career development workshops, mentorship sessions, and community gatherings. Participants will meet regularly (3-4 times per month) for workshops (all sessions will be held in-person with hybrid attendance available) co-facilitated by MG Xiong (they/them) and Kay Martinez (they/them). They will also meet with an assigned mentor to review and discuss goals and workshop material. Community gatherings will be optional events that aim to connect participants outside of learning sessions. 

To support involvement in the program, enrolled participants will receive a laptop, stationery supplies, an MBTA pass, and a monthly stipend of $1,000 from April to June 2023. Participants who fully complete the program will be able to keep the laptop provided to them, but if the program is not fully completed, the laptop must be returned to MTPC.

Workshops include:

  • Developing personal and professional goals
  • Foundational technology skills
  • Resume and cover letter writing
  • Interview skills and practice
  • Understanding your rights in the workplace
  • Financial management

Anticipated outcomes for participants include:

  • Work experience through connections to employers/companies/organizations that align with career interests
  • Pathways to educational institutions and learning centers, licensing and certification programs, and apprenticeships
  • Meaningful relationships with trans and gender expansive community members and leaders

Become a Mentor!

We also have mentors for the Trans Leadership Academy who provide a positive influence in the lives of participants, providing intentional and individualized mentorship. They support a participant through guiding conversations on career development and experiences, reviewing resume and cover letter drafts, sharing opportunities and resources, and more. Mentors assist their mentee with identifying achievable goals and following progress during the three-month academy.

Who is this for?
People of trans experience with demonstrated leadership, alignment toward lived equity, and experience working with people from various backgrounds and walks of life are highly encouraged to apply. 

Role and Responsibilities
In the first week of the program, mentors will take part in an orientation with a workshop on foundations to inclusion and best practices for meaningful mentorship. They will also be provided with mentor guidelines that detail boundaries, resources, and support.

  • Provide support and guidance in identifying and setting mentee’s personal and professional goals.
  • Meet with mentee at least 3 times/month to discuss progress and development toward identified goals and program assignments.
  • Connect with other mentors for support meetings 1-2 times/month facilitated by program Clinical Supervisor.
  • Review mentee’s resume and cover letter drafts, providing meaningful, specific feedback.
  • Share opportunities and resources such as job fairs and network connections.

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility and Application

Who is the target audience?

  • BIPOC, low-income, and/or formerly incarcerated trans people 18 and older from all stages of life who live or work in Boston are welcome to apply. Individuals over 25 are highly encouraged to apply.

I live in Massachusetts but outside of Boston. Can I still apply?

  • Yes, however we cannot guarantee that you will be eligible for this year’s cohort.

What prior educational and/or work experience do I need?

  • No previous work or educational experience is required, though this program requires some reading and writing.

Do I have to be eligible to work in the U.S. to be a part of the TLA?

  • Yes, program participants need to be eligible to work in the U.S.

What documents will I need to provide?

  • Program participants will need to complete a W-9 tax document. This requires you to have a Social Security number or Tax-Identification number. Your legal name will have to be used on this document.

Do I need a permanent mailing address?

  • You need an address where you can receive mail and it will be listed on the W-9.

Do I need a bank account?

  • Yes, you’ll need a way to cash a check and/or receive a direct deposit.

What neighborhoods are included in the City of Boston?

  • Allston, Back Bay, Bay Village, Beacon Hill, Brighton, Charlestown, Chinatown-Leather District, Dorchester, Downtown, East Boston, Fenway-Kenmore, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mid-Dorchester, Mission Hill, North End, Roslindale, Roxbury, South Boston, South End, West End, West Roxbury, Wharf District

If I have applied for the TLA in the past, do I have to apply again?

  • Nope! If you’ve applied before, we will check in with you before the next cohort to see if you are still interested in participating in the program and if you would like to update any of the information you’ve provided previously.

If I have been a TLA participant previously, am I eligible to apply again?

  • If you were a member of the first TLA cohort in 2023, you may be eligible to apply for a “Part 2” track in the future. However, previous participants will not be eligible to apply for the same track again.


Where will program sessions take place?

  • Sessions will take place at the Elma Lewis Center at Emerson College located at 148 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116. Accessible via Red/Green/Orange/Silver lines.

When will program sessions occur?

  • Workshop sessions will be 3-4 times/month on Wednesdays from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. 

Can I bring food to the TLA program sessions?

  • You are welcome to bring food/snacks/water with you to programming sessions. Dinner will also be provided at each session.

How many individuals will be in the Academy class?

  • 7-10 individuals.

Do I need to provide any supplies or a computer for myself?

  • No, program participants will be given a laptop and stationery supplies. Participants who fully complete the program will be able to keep the laptop provided to them, but if the program is not fully completed, the laptop must be returned to MTPC.

How will program participants receive their monthly stipends?

  • Monthly stipends can be paid via check, direct deposit through, or PayPal.

Can I participate virtually?

  • Yes, all workshop sessions and mentoring can be joined virtually while they are occurring.

Will sessions be recorded?

  • No, sessions will not be recorded. 

Will I receive any certification or credits for this?

  • The Trans Leadership Academy is not an accredited program, so you will not receive credits. But participants who complete the TLA will receive a Certificate of Completion.

How will this program prepare me for finding employment?

  • Workshop sessions will focus on identifying your personal and professional goals as you develop job-readiness skills. You will also be connected to career fair events and organizations/businesses as well as educational programs that align with your interests.

How did the Trans Leadership Academy come about?

  • In 2019, MTPC conducted the Working for Lived Equity (W4LE) community needs assessment to gain a greater understanding of the needs of the community and better inform our work. At least half of all respondents identified employment, housing stability and homelessness, and paying bills and emergency funds, as among their top 3 concerns regarding basic needs. This program is designed to address these needs and provide pathways to sustainable independence and stability.

Program Background

In 2019, MTPC conducted the Working for Lived Equity (W4LE) community needs assessment to gain a greater understanding of the needs of the community and better inform our work. At least half of all respondents identified employment, housing stability and homelessness, and paying bills and emergency funds, as among their top 3 concerns regarding basic needs. TNBGE people face some of the highest rates of economic inequities across the state and nationwide. The experiences of transphobia, cisheteronormativity, racism, sexism and misogyny often push TNBGE youth out of schools and into prisons. Many TNBGE youth and young adults are forcibly disconnected from the educational resources that lead to employment opportunities. As a result, some resort to survival economy like sex work, theft and participate in the drug trade to provide for themselves and their families, putting them at greater risk for interactions with law enforcement and incarceration.

Through workforce training, community counseling and program support, adult TNBGE people (including those who were formerly incarcerated, do not have stable housing or employment) will have developed a career / life plan with clear and attainable goals, will have attained work experience (ideally paid but potentially internships), and have achieved or ready to achieve the necessary certifications, licensing, apprenticeships or other educational attainment they would like to pursue. Ideally, adult TNBGE people who complete this program will have drastically reduced rates of incarceration, recidivism, unemployment and homelessness, and will be on the path to financial independence.

TNBGE youth who participate in this program will be on track for the job placement or educational attainment that they desire. This will include a career / life plan with clear and attainable goals through community counseling, higher education application support and counseling, and develop skills through internships or volunteer work. Ideal outcomes include significantly reduced likelihood of incarceration, homelessness and unemployment and increased rates of secondary education completion and continuing education.