Sunday, May 13, 2018 || LETTERS || @maywoodnews
In March, the Maywood Youth Delegation made their way to the National League of Cities Conference in Washington D.C. to continue the ongoing search for resources for the village and aspiring our young politicians to be the voices of the people.
This year’s 2018 delegation hosted John Michael Dawson, Chelsea James (Proviso Math and Science Academy seniors) Juliana Soto (Proviso East High School freshman), Keyanna Turner, Jared Charro, Atarrius Jacobs and Christian Palomares (Proviso East High School juniors), Jeramia Sowell (Proviso East High School Senior), Christopher Buchanan (Walter Christian Academy senior), and myself, Anahi Soto (Proviso East High School junior).
This year’s delegation was escorted by Ms. Woods, dean of Proviso East High School, and Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon, who never fails to see the potential in the youth of Maywood hosts.
The conference began with opening remarks welcoming everyone to Washington D.C. From there, the youth delegate sessions began. The importance of being persistent and cooperation were the subjects of discussion.
The delegates were challenged with seeking solutions to a variety of issues, such as the minimum wage and decreasing the voting age. All delegations were scrambled in order to maximize our networking opportunities and to engage with a diverse range of perspectives.
We later went to a round robin session to which different government secretaries and agencies came out to offer their services. From this session, we acquired grant applications and program applications for clean water facility improvements, infrastructure, police safety and training.
Each delegate presented their findings formally before the village of Maywood’s Board of Trustees, expressing the community solutions they discovered. The members of the village board also came along to the conference and were always offering words of support and advise.
While in the area, we visited Howard University, a campus with beautiful buildings that hosted a deep history within its walls and the cherry blossoms that flowed gracefully in the wind.
In addition, we visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Abraham Lincoln memorial. Each time, we visit these memorials it always seemed to inspire the delegates to do more and be humbled by the greatness of historical figures like Lincoln and King.
My friends, we as a community, are growing. It is beautiful to see our people grow into the steps of those before us and still aspire to be more. They live on the philosophy that Martin Luther King Jr. did, which is to have a dream and to pursue it.
They are our story, our legacy that we are giving rise to. I am honored to continue to serve my home besides those I call family. In the village of Maywood, there is greatness coming and we are burning with a desire like that of an eternal flame.
Thank you to all those who’ve supported us — business, family and staff. I wish you all love, life, health and happiness. VFP
— Anahi Soto is a junior at Proviso East High School
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