(JACKSON, Miss.) – Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba welcomed 25 students into the second class of the Mayor’s Youth Council during Monday night’s induction ceremony.
“We’re here to celebrate the induction of our second class of the Mayor’s Youth Council which is about recognizing, not only the power but the intellect of our youth, and the important role that they play in our city. In fact, as we look at a city that we want to change, we recognize it has been through the youth that have been the catalyst that has been a part of every effort of change in modern history. And so, it energizes me to speak with our youth. It excites me and I look forward to the dialogue that we will be creating over the next few months”, said Mayor Lumumba.
The Mayor’s Youth Council provides students an opportunity to have input on city government policies and practices and to advocate for issues and initiatives that may impact the lives of young people. Participants also have the chance to recommend youth-driven initiatives, spearhead service-learning projects, and serve as a liaison between the local government and the young people of Jackson.
Lamari Sutton is a second-year inductee into the Mayor’s Youth Council. She said, “I’m very excited. Last year, it was an amazing experience. We went on field trips and we spent time in the community. It just gave me a broader perspective on what it means to serve in Jackson. It’s important for the youth to get involved with issues in Jackson. We get to serve the community and be a voice for the people.”
The Mayor’s Youth Council is comprised of 25 students in grades 9-12 with a 3.0 GPA, who reside in Jackson.
Constituent Services Manager Keyshia Sanders is in charge of the program and said, “It gives youth an opportunity to get engaged in government as well as gives them an opportunity to have a voice in government. It gives them an opportunity to either speak to an initiative that is important and near and dear to them around violence, education, [and] bullying. But, I think it’s a vital piece because it gives our youth an opportunity to learn more about municipal government, have a good understanding about civic government, and the processes of how it works.”
Zacchaeus Wallace is a new inductee into the Mayor’s Youth Council who said, “It gives us an opportunity to speak and represent Jackson and tell what we would change. I like being a part of a team and being social. I like to help out and I’m a good problem solver. I think bringing those things to the Mayor’s Youth Council will be nice for me.”
The City of Jackson will begin accepting applications for next year’s Mayor’s Youth Council in March 2020.