Mayor Walsh wants Boston teenagers to get more civically engaged and has announced that his office is Boston teens entering grades 9-12 (or of comparable age) to apply for his Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC). The Council is a group of 85 high school-aged youth that are committed to improving community and empowering other young people in the city. The MYC is a model of youth inclusion in government and civic engagement that has spurred cities across the nation, and even internationally, to examine how they include youth in local government.
The number of youth representing neighborhoods is based upon census data that indicates where young people live. MYC reps form issue-centric subcommittees based on input from youth and Mayor Walsh’s cabinet structure. In order to apply to be a neighborhood representative on the Mayor’s Youth Council, you must be a Boston resident and entering grades 9-12. All applicants will sit through a group interview and must submit letters of recommendation.
“I am incredibly proud of what our Mayor’s Youth Council has been able to accomplish,” said Mayor Walsh. “Young experts are working with me and members of city leadership to ensure that we are making decisions that reflect what young people in Boston need to make our city even better.”
In the past year, members of the Mayor’s Youth Council have worked on a variety of issues related to public safety, participatory budgeting, and civic engagement. The Mayor’s Youth Council provided feedback to the MBTA on their 5-year plan for transportation in Massachusetts (GoBoston 2030); guided the community input process for how the City of Boston spends $1M of the City budget through “Youth Lead the Change” and led many discussions around current issues and events.
Stephanie Lafume from Mattapan said that the MYC showed her how to go about making meaningful changes in the community and where to go to get support to get change done. “My three years on the Mayor’s Youth Council taught me about the workings of City Hall and city government,” said Stephen Lafume, a Mattapan Representative on the MYC. “I discovered my power as a youth in Boston on the Mayor’s Youth Council.”
Northeastern University is a longtime sponsor of the Mayor’s Youth Council. To learn more and to apply online, visit Boston.Gov/BCYF. The deadline is Saturday, September 30.