West End Student Selected to Mayor’s Youth Council

Heather Forbes

Heather Forbes

West End resident Heather Forbes of Hawthorne Place has been selected to serve on Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Youth Council over the next year.

The sixteen year old of Boston Latin School will represent the North End and West End communities.

Why do I want to be on the MYC 2013-2014?

I am so thankful to be on the Mayor’s Youth Council 2013-2014 because I will get the honor of representing the voices of Boston’s youth that are present but not often heard. The voices and opinions of Boston’s youth have always been important, but, thanks to the MYC, they are getting the chance to be brought to center stage. Beyond this wonderful opportunity, I believe that the more we as teenagers learn about Boston’s government and leadership, the more capable we will be of running the country and caring for older generations in the future. I hope to learn more about decisions made in Boston and the motives behind them so that I can then educate youth and children in my community about the way the city is run. Continuing with the theme of the 2012-2013, I also hope to spread ideas of health awareness among Boston’s youth, which is an ever increasing topic of importance.

In fact, in early June of this year, the Mayor’s Youth Council held an event just for this purpose, a Fitness Challenge. It was a wonderful success, and hopefully in this coming year we can make it an even bigger event and in so doing help teenagers throughout Boston stay in shape and learn more about how to eat and live healthfully.

What do I hope to accomplish?

During my term on the Mayor’s Youth Council, I hope to establish an even greater sense of community amongst the youth of the West End and North End. I hope to unite us through various community events, and, if possible, make the West End Community Center even more of a place for friends to meet up, as is the case at Nazzaro Community Center in the North End. On a larger scale, through continuing the overarching theme of last year’s MYC, I hope to help with some Health-focused events for youth in Boston.

I also hope to become more aware of the issues facing youth in Boston. There are issues that we may not even know about, depending on where in the city we live. However, all issues are important to our generation because they define us as a group, and when we learn how to deal with them or overcome them, we will emerge as more capable, caring and intelligent citizens.

I myself hope that I will have a great experience from this term, along with gaining an increased breadth of understanding about the world. I also hope to more closely understand my community, and especially its youth, and make sure that its voice is always heard.

I am honored to serve as one of the 2013-2014 West End/North End representatives on the Citywide Boston Mayor’s Youth Council.

Heather will volunteer eight to ten hours a month, attend two Tuesday evening meetings a month, work with several city agencies to voice opinions related to the youth of Boston and her hometown neighborhood. She will also have the opportunity to take on a youth leadership role and some public speaking citywide.

“Heather is a top-notch selection to serve as a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council,” Nicole Leo of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services said. “She will have the opportunity to address neighborhood issues and concerns with city and elected officials to design programs, influence policy, connect teens to opportunities available to them and participate in neighborhood service projects,” Leo added.

“I’m looking forward to working with Heather during her term on the Youth Council,” Leo said.

Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina fully supports the Youth Council concept said, “Heather will meet with youth from across the City to help identify issues and develop possible solution.” “My office door is open to Heather anytime,” he added.

Senator Anthony Petruccelli and State Representative Aaron Michlewitz congratulated Heather on her selection to the Youth Council and also noted their doors are also open to her anytime she needs assistance.

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