Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley is recruiting young leaders from Jamaica Plain to help staff his Youth Advisory Council, a 21-member body drawn from across the region to provide input on policy, legislation and crime-fighting strategies affecting young people.
“Young people today are smarter and more sophisticated than ever before,” Conley said. “They’re opinionated and they’re ready to share their views if adults are ready to listen. The Youth Advisory Council is an opportunity for them to build experience for future leadership, but it’s every bit as much an opportunity for us to explore new and effective ideas.”
Applicants to the Youth Advisory Council should be entering their sophomore or junior years of high school this fall and represent all walks of life. Conley is casting a broad net for potential members, drawing candidates from schools in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop; Action for Boston Community Development, Inc.; the Talented and Gifted Latino Program, which serves high school students at the University of Massachusetts Boston; the Children’s Services of Roxbury’s Youth and Police in Partnership program; and other sources.
“Our goal is to recruit as diverse a field of panelists as possible,” Conley said. “We’re looking for young people with ideas and initiative, but we also want them to represent the face of Suffolk County in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic background, and life experience. The short-term goal is input from a committed group of young leaders, but the long-term goal is to build awareness and engagement in all of Suffolk County’s youths.”
The Youth Advisory Council will meet regularly with the DA, members of his senior staff and other interested adults who will help them identify issues of importance to area youth, develop policy recommendations, testify on legislative initiatives and more. Their most urgent activity will relate to gun violence, dating violence, and substance abuse, but they will be encouraged to study and address other issues as well. Academic credit for participation will be determined by the students’ schools, and the council will provide valuable volunteer experience for prospective college students.
“There’s much more to the District Attorney’s office than prosecution,” Conley said. “We want to show our policymaking side to teens who might not have considered us when thinking about government and public service.”
Applications are available online at http://wp.me/pKHdm-1Vw. They are due by the close of business on May 23.
From press materials.