Holyoke, MA Youth Commission

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Holyoke, MA, US

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Type: Program

Status: Ongoing

Source File: http://www.youthtaskforce.org/holyokeyouthcommission.html

Description:

Mission Statement
The Holyoke Youth Commission will strive to help our community and youth create a better living environment by working with the mayor, city officials, and the media to create plans and goals for youth. We will strive to empower youth by supporting youth programs that promote diversity.

The Holyoke Youth Commission
Only a handful of Massachusetts communities boast Youth Commissions where youth actually make decisions, set agendas, run meetings and carry out community projects. The Holyoke Youth Task Force is proud to be part of this initiative in our city. We sponsor and support the Holyoke Youth Commission, made up of approximately 20 youths, ages 13-21 and hailing from many different after school groups, high schools and middle schools. Members reflect the economic and racial diversity of Holyoke, and represent multiple neighborhoods and wards.

The Holyoke Youth Commission is endorsed by the Mayor of Holyoke and receives support from his office. City Councilor Mark Lubold meets with the Youth Commission, educating them about government process and community resources.

The Youth Commission meets weekly at City Hall Annex, and they meet regularly with the Mayor. The Youth Commission has gone door-to-door to survey residents about their neighborhoods. It has organized an MCAS forum in 2001 to help peers learn about the state test and speak their minds about the issue, and, working with other youth groups, it organized three Youth Summits where young people from across the city created a "Youth Vision Map" of their goals for the city.

After the Youth Summits, the Youth Commission developed a youth proposal process for other youth in the City to request funding for youth projects that reflect some of the goals articulated in the Youth Visions Map. This project put young people in charge of funding and gave other youth the opportunity to write their own grants for their own great ideas.

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