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2018 Mayor's Youth Council members announced

December 14, 2017

The group is committed to improving their communities and empowering other young people in the City.

Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the members of the 2018 Mayor's Youth Council, a group of 85 high school-aged youth committed to improving their communities and empowering other young people in the City. The Mayor's Youth Council (MYC) advises Mayor Walsh and members of his administration on policy and programming, and were selected following an extensive application and interview process.

"Boston's young people have a unique voice and perspective in our City, and I'm pleased to welcome our newest members of the Youth Council," said Mayor Walsh. "We are committed to making policy decisions that improve the lives of everyone in our City, and I look forward to gaining the feedback and advice of our youngest advisors."

Members of the MYC come from all across Boston and attend a variety of public, parochial,  private and alternative schools. The MYC is a year-round commitment, and members devote eight to 13 hours a month to meetings, events, projects and outreach. The number of youth representing each neighborhood is based upon census data that indicates where young people live in Boston.

Mayor Walsh announces 2018 Mayor's Youth Council members

MYC representatives form issue-centric subcommittees based on input from youth and Mayor Walsh's cabinet structure. The current committees include: Arts & Culture, Education & Youth Engagement, Youth Lead the Change, Civic Engagement, Workforce & Economic Development, and Public Health & Safety. Twelve directors and deputy directors were voted in by their peers to lead the Council's committees.

"I chose to apply to the Mayor's Youth Council because I believe in the power, creativity, and willingness to achieve major change that this generation has to offer," said Ashawn Dabney-Small, who represents Dorchester and is the Director of Arts & Culture Committee. "I believe that the Mayor's Youth Council gives this generation a voice to speak out and be the change that we wish to see in the world."

In the past year, members of the MYC have worked on a variety of issues related to public safety, participatory budgeting, and civic engagement. The MYC 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 $1 million of the City budget through "Youth Lead the Change" participatory budgeting; and led many discussions around current issues and events.

The leaders of the MYC shared their collective thoughts on the importance of the MYC. "The governing body of the Mayor's Youth Council believes that civic engagement and participatory budgeting are the best way for youth to effect change," said the MYC Youth Board of Directors. "Understanding that we will inherit Boston, we've been elected by our peers to lead the change that we seek. We know that enacting global change is hard, so we're starting with Boston and are happy to represent Boston's youth in this mission."

The MYC is overseen by Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) Division of Youth Engagement & Employment. Northeastern University is a longtime sponsor.

About Boston Centers for Youth and Families

Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) is the City of Boston's largest youth and human service agency. BCYF operates 36 community centers in Boston that offer a variety of engaging and enriching programs for people of all ages created through community input and need. BCYF also oversees many citywide programs including the nationally-recognized violence intervention and prevention Streetworker Program and SuccessLink, Mayor's Summer Jobs Program.

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