Mayor Kim Janey and the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment last Friday announced that applications are now open for Boston teens to apply for the 2021-2022 Mayor’s Youth Council.
The Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) is a model of youth inclusion in government and civic engagement that has inspired cities across the nation, and even internationally, to examine how they include youth in local government. Applications are being accepted until Sunday, July 18, 2021.
“Creating opportunities for Boston’s youth is an important part of our efforts in engaging young people in the work of city government,” said Mayor Janey. “I look forward to working with the incoming 2021-2022 Mayor’s Youth Council to learn from their experiences and understand their priorities for the City of Boston.”
The Mayor’s Youth Council is a group of 85 high school-aged youth who are committed to improving their communities and empowering young people in the City of Boston. The number of youth representing neighborhoods is based on census data that indicates where young people live. MYC provides a platform for youth voice to be represented in the city with the goals of:
•Connecting youth to city government
•Building a network with youth leaders from across the City
•Educating youth about the civic process
•Encouraging youth to prioritize social change and justice in their own communities.
To apply to be a neighborhood representative on the Mayor’s Youth Council, students must be Boston residents and entering grades 9-12 (or of comparable age). All applicants will participate in a group interview.
MYC representatives form issue-centric subcommittees based on Mayor Janey’s cabinet structure. In the past year, members of the MYC have worked on a variety of issues, including public peace, civic engagement, education, arts and culture, climate justice, economic and workforce development, public health, as well as continued to oversee the implementation of the Youth Lead the Change capital projects voted on by youth last year. In addition, students on the Council can serve as MYC Liaisons, positions appointed by their peers. Liaisons serve as neighborhood and community ambassadors, helping to ensure that youth around the city have access to resources, programs and services.
Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 Mayor’s Youth Council was fully remote for the entire program. The MYC Youth Ambassadors connected with each other through virtual meetings, learned about critical initiatives across the city from department leaders, and focused on ways to engage their peers through the planning of impact projects.
In the past year, members of the MYC have met with numerous city departments such as the Mayor’s Office Immigration Advancement, Civic Engagement, Financial Empowerment, Recovery Services, Arts & Culture, Food Access, Emergency Management, as well as elected officials, to serve as a voice for youth in government. Members commit to creating impact projects through their committees, such as partnering with the Office of Financial Empowerment to host virtual financial literacy workshops for youth all over Boston. The workshops this spring focused on college affordability, building credit, and helping educate young people on how they can start to plan for their financial futures. All engagement opportunities allow MYC members to gain a deeper understanding of Boston residents and communities.
The MYC is overseen by the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment and partners with longtime sponsor, Northeastern University, to support the Mayor’s Youth Council. To learn more and to apply online, visit youth.boston.gov.