86 high schoolers will be active in civic engagement
On Feb. 9, Mayor Michelle Wu, together with the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, swore in this year’s Mayor’s Youth Council. This event marked the first swearing in of the Mayor’s Youth Council since the pandemic began. The high school students will give teens a voice in City government “by advising the Mayor and her Cabinet on issues pertinent to their peers.” The group is the first Mayor’s Youth Council in the nation.
“This Youth Council so often serves as the beautiful beginning to a much longer commitment to serving our communities, and I am so excited that these young leaders have accepted this invitation,” said Wu. “With the help of the Youth Council, I look forward to continuing to demonstrate just how much is possible in this City with young people leading the way.”
The ambassadors will serve for one term and act as representatives for youth living in Boston. They were each selected based off of a rigorous application and interview process. Members will dedicate 10 to 15 hours a month to projects, meetings, and outreach.
“Serving as a youth ambassador for the Mayor’s Youth Council and a co-director of the Workforce and Economic Development Committee is truly an honor and a humbling experience,” said Wesley Ekes, 16, a Dorchester resident, Boston Collegiate Charter School student, and Co-Director of the MYC Workforce and Economic Development Committee. “Having an established environment where youth across Boston can collaboratively brainstorm and implement initiatives across a wide variety of recurring issues is critically important to the success of our city.”
“Youth voices have been undermined and ignored. But I’m so proud of ‘Gen Z’, they are not afraid to speak up,” said Thy Nguyen, 17, a Dorchester resident, Excel High School student, and Co-Director of the MYC Education Committee. “We’re the ones experiencing injustices, who can make better decisions for us if that’s not us?”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.