MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR

MAYOR TOM HENRYApplications available for Mayor’s youth engagement council

Applications accepted through June 10 for service-learning opportunity

Are you a high-school freshman, sophomore or junior living in the City of Fort Wayne? If not, do you know a Fort Wayne resident who has just finished their first, second or third year of high school? Maybe it’s your grandchild, neighbor or niece or nephew. I would like to invite these students to apply for the 2011-2012 Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council.

The council will consist of up to 25 high school students focused on service learning in investing. The application deadline is June 10.

The Mayor’s Youth Engagement Council will have intelligent, ambitious students wanting to make a difference in what will be their Fort Wayne in the decades to come. I believe that being involved in their hometown will encourage them to take the education and skills that they will gain in high school, college or other post-secondary opportunities and apply them here in Fort Wayne for years to come.

The council members will continue the work of the 2010-2011 council in identifying ways they can address key community issues through connections and create a personal investment in the future of their hometown. I value the opportunity to listen to these students who are the future of Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana.
This council showcases youth as leaders and promotes their active role in Fort Wayne. One highlight of the Youth Council’s first year was hosting Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous, an event that gave nearly 1,000 teens a chance to interact and enjoy downtown Fort Wayne. This free night of entertainment included live bands, dance groups, acoustic performers and other talented teen acts.

Instead of me telling you about the youth council, I think it’s best to hear about the students’ experience in their own words. This is what Taylor Reid, MYEC vice president who is finishing her sophomore year at Wayne High School’s New Tech program, had to say about the council:
“It has helped me learn a lot about project management and that’s the area of business I’m heading towards in college. I’ve also expanded my collaboration skills by meeting new people and learning how to really be a part of the ‘adult world.’ Other members I know have enjoyed it because it gave us a taste of how adults involve themselves with others as well as how they put on shows and events around the area. We had a chance to meet some amazing people and learn about jobs that could even be a possible field for us. Through everything we’ve done, some of it may have been stressful, but in the long run all of it paid off.”

Students must be sophomores, juniors or seniors for the 2011-2012 school year. All council members must live within the city and attend public, private or home schools. I want the council to reflect the diversity of Fort Wayne.
With the help of City staff and community leaders, I will select participants from the applications submitted this year, so current members will need to reapply. Students chosen for in-person interviews will be contacted by July 8 with final selections to be made this summer.
The council members will have a 12-month commitment. Meetings, which will be 60 to 90 minutes long, start at 5:30 p.m. August 9 with meetings on the second Tuesday of each month.

Our city’s future depends on next generation of leaders and that’s why I started the youth council. We must provide them with opportunities to be informed and involved so that they will continue to see Fort Wayne as a place where they can be connected throughout their lives.
The application – which requires student information, short answer, two adult references and parent/guardian permission – is available at www.cityoffortwayne.org/myec.

Tom Henry - Fort Wayne Mayor

A lifelong Fort Wayne resident, Mayor Thomas C. Henry is committed to public and community service. He was elected to his first term as Fort Wayne's Mayor November 6, 2007. Mayor Henry authors the "Message from the Mayor" column. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer