The Mayor's Youth Council provides Boston's young people with an active role in addressing youth issues. High school juniors and seniors are selected to serve as volunteer representatives of every neighborhood in the city. The young advocates outreach to Boston teens, inform them of existing opportunities and listen to suggestions on what the city can do to improve its youth oriented efforts.
The City of Boston, in partnership with Northeastern University and the Boston Bar Association, has sponsored the Mayor's Youth Council since 1994. The MYC meets twice a month to participate in team building trainings, leadership seminars and public speaking workshops. Forty representatives are appointed each spring for a one-year term. During the summer, they research youth programs available in their neighborhoods and conduct a survey of their peers to identify important issues affecting Boston's youth. Throughout the school year, they meet with each other and local youth organizations to discuss the issues identified from their survey. The mayor meets with the Council to listen and respond to their issues and regularly invites the Police Commissioner, Human Services Chief and School Superintendent to be part of these meetings so they can address issues immediately.
The MYC's Fall Youth Forum is an opportunity for young people to bring their ideas and solutions directly to the mayor and other city officials. At the forum, the MYC sits down with the city's top authorities on an issue and asks questions based on their research, meetings and personal experiences.
Each year, the MYC plans a youth summit to gather young people from all over the city in celebration of their accomplishments. Speakers, entertainers, skits and resource tables highlight youth resources and opportunities.
The culmination of the MYC year is a trip Washington D.C. The teens have a chance to tour the Capital, memorials, landmarks and museums. But most importantly, it is an opportunity for the MYC to bring their issues to the federal level. The Representatives spend the months leading up to the trip researching the issues and preparing for the meetings, which have proven to be educational for the young people and an enlightening for the federal officials. The MYC has discussed environmental concerns with the EPA, substance abuse with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, teen employment with the Secretary of Labor, justice issues with the Attorney General, ideas about education with the Secretary of Education, voting rights with MA Senators and local funding with MA Congressmen.
The Mayor's Youth Council worked with the National League of Cities to form the National Youth Advisory Council. We continue to cooperate with the NLC and other cities nationally and internationally to involve young people in government.
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Mayor's Youth Council Reception 2011
Mayor Menino joins the Mayor's Youth Council to celebrate incoming and outgoing members at the 2011 MYC Reception.
MYC Celebrate Its 15th Anniversary
Since Mayor Menino launched the first iteration of the Mayor’s Youth Council 15 years ago, over 100 cities across the United States and around the world have modeled their youth programs after it.