Maywood youth delegates with their parents and/or guardians, and Trustee Isiah Brandon, far left. | Below, they pose with other members of the Maywood Board of Trustees. || Michael Romain/VFP
Monday, April 24, 2017 || By Community Editor|| @maywoodnews
Earlier this month, five high school students selected to represent Maywood as youth delegates at the annual Congressional City Conference hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC) reported to village board members on the information they gleaned from their March trip.
This is the second year that Maywood Trustee Isiah Brandon has taken a delegation of young people with him to the annual conference. This year, the five delegates came from Proviso Township District 209 high schools and Walther Christian Academy in Melrose Park. They were each selected by staff and administrators at each school
“This year we wanted to use a different approach in regards to making sure we represented all of the young people in Maywood so we decided to expand to Walter Christian Academy as well,” said Brandon during an April 5 village board meeting.
According to NLC’s website, the program is part of the organization’s “continuing efforts to promote youth participation in local government.” Municipal officials are “encouraged to bring youth (ages 15-18 years old) with them to the Congressional City Conference as youth delegates.”
“We need to make sure that we continue to provide ways to engage young people in the process, especially in regards to advocating for their community,” said Brandon.
The delegates said that they attended numerous workshops that provided valuable information on ways that they can improve their hometown.
“We were able to connect with cities that are maybe struggling with similar issues that Maywood is struggling with,” said Soto, a two-time delegate to the conference.
“This gave us an opportunity to reflect on what it really means to be a national and global citizen of our beautiful community and what it takes to be a leader in our town.”
Murphy said that a meeting with U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) produced “many contacts that will benefit the community.”
This year’s delegates included:
- Jeramia Sowell, a junior at Proviso East
- Keyanna Turner, a sophomore at Proviso East
- Anahi Soto, a sophomore at Proviso East
- John Michael Dawson, a junior at Proviso Math & Science Academy
- Reena Murphy, a senior at Walther Christian Academy
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