We are proud to acknowledge NHS student, Amy Azaria, for obtaining this prestigious honor, and would like to thank Sharon Greenholt, and Matt Strothers, NHS guidance counselors, for assisting her in the application process.
Statewide Youth Council & Overview
A year before the first Governor’s Statewide Youth Council was formed, Governor Patrick visited a Dorchester neighborhood in Boston that had been plagued by a string of violent, youth-related murders. Walking around and attempting to console the residents, the Governor met a young woman from Dorchester and members of Dorchester’s B.O.L.D.TEENS. Without hesitation, she asked the Governor why youth didn’t have a voice in shaping the policies that affected them. This was a bold statement, a challenge to the Governor to mobilize state government to do as she suggested: give youth a voice in shaping the policies that affect us every day. In the following year, Governor Patrick formed a working group, comprised of state and private sector employees, and together with the Governor’s Office of Community Affairs, the group conducted a vigorous search and extensive application process resulting in the selection of the 28 members of the first Statewide Youth Council.
The Youth Council initiatives have encouraged and motivated young people to be involved in their communities and to participate in problem solving through assuming leadership and planning roles. Advising the Governor as representatives of all Massachusetts youth, Youth Council members have focused on the Governor’s priorities of education, economic development, civic engagement, and community outreach. The Youth Council has advocated on various issues in the Patrick Administration; including the historic anti-bullying legislation that Governor Patrick signed in May 2010.
Purpose and Responsibilities
The purpose of the Youth Council is:
- To give young people access to the Governor
- To increase youth participation in government
- To give young people a significant voice in the decision making process
- For young people to develop leadership skills and become active citizens
- To create relationships between youth and adult leaders throughout the state
The roles and responsibilities of Youth Council members include:
- Commitment to serve for two years (unless young person turns 21 before end of their term)
- Discuss issues important to youth in their community and learn from youth in other communities
- Demonstrate a commitment to make a change
- Attend scheduled meetings
- Work closely with other Youth Council members and Adult Sponsor
- Work closely with local councils to address youth related issues
- Submit report to Governor’s Office with recommendations regarding youth related issues and projects carried out by youth
We know Amy will be a valuable contributor to this group. See her pictured below, with Governor Patrick! Redhawk Pride!