86 high school students will be active in civic engagement

On February 9, Mayor Michelle Wu, in conjunction with the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment, was sworn in at this year’s Mayor’s Youth Council. This event marked the first swearing-in of the Mayor’s Youth Council since the start of the pandemic. The high school students will give teens a voice in city government “by advising the mayor and his cabinet on issues relevant to their peers.” The group is the nation’s first Mayor’s Youth Council.

“This Youth Council so often serves as a beautiful start to a much longer commitment to serving our communities, and I’m so excited that these young leaders have accepted this invitation,” Wu said. young people, I look forward to continuing to demonstrate all that is possible in this city with young people in mind.”

Ambassadors will serve one term and act as representatives of young people living in Boston. They were each selected based on a rigorous application and interview process. Members will dedicate 10-15 hours per month to projects, meetings and outreach.

“Serving as a youth ambassador for the Mayor’s Youth Council and co-chair of the Labor and Economic Development Committee is truly an honor and a humbling experience,” said Wesley Ekes, 16, a resident of Dorchester, student at Boston Collegiate Charter School, and Co-Chair of MYC’s Economic and Workforce Development Committee. “Having an established environment where Boston’s youth can brainstorm together and implement initiatives on a wide variety of recurring issues is critically important to the success of our city.”

“The voices of young people have been undermined and ignored. But I’m so proud of ‘Gen Z’, they’re not afraid to speak up,” said Your Nguyen, 17, Dorchester resident, Excel High School student and co-director of the MYC Education Committee. “We are the ones who suffer injustice, who can make better decisions for us if not us?”

Shira Laucharoen is a Boston-based journalist. She is currently Deputy 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.