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Boston Youth Council Celebrates 15th Birthday

Case Story

The 40 member Boston Youth Council (in Massachusetts) is celebrating its fifteenth year of serving the youth and other residents of the City of Boston. Forty youth are appointed by the Mayor each Spring for a one-year term. The Council usually meets twice a month and activities include team building trainings, leadership seminars, and public speaking workshops.

The youth council has worked on activities such as an outreach campaign to get teens to register to vote as they become eligible; serving as officers on the Boston Student Advisory Council where they addressed a variety of issues including e-mail and cell phone policies, computer access, tutoring, test preparation, curriculum planning, and safety; and working on the Harvard Medical School “Reflections in Action” planning committee, the Boston Public High School Curriculum Task Force, the Transportation Access Task Force, and the National Campaign for Teen Pregnancy Prevention.

During the summer, the members of the youth council research youth programs available in their neighborhoods and conduct a survey of their peers to identify important issues affecting Boston’s youth. Throughout the school year, the youth council meets with each other and local youth organizations to discuss the issues identified from their survey. The Mayor and other City of Boston staff meet with the Youth Council directly to address issues raised in the survey. The Youth Council also plans a Youth Summit each year to highlight youth resources and opportunities.

Each spring, the members of the Youth Council travel to Washington D.C. to tour the capital and to share the concerns of Boston youth with federal officials. In the past, the Youth Council has had the opportunity to meet with President Clinton and Vice President Gore. For more information, see http://www.bostonyouthzone.com/myc/.

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