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City of Plainfield Hosted Plainfield High School Students in a One-Day “Youth Take Over”

Plainfield, NJ – May 31, 2017– The City of Plainfield and the GrassROOTS Community Foundation recently hosted a Youth Take Over Day of City Hall involving almost 40 students from Plainfield High School.

 

The one-day event served to educate, promote civic engagement, and expose the students to career opportunities in public service.

 

The students were taken by bus from Plainfield High School to City Hall where they met Mayor Adrian O. Mapp and over thirty Department and Division heads from the City administration team. They had breakfast with their adult mentors and  had the opportunity to work with their mentors throughout the day and get a firsthand look at how their government works.

 

One of the highlights of the day was hearing from the three mentees that had the opportunity to attend a meeting in Newark with Mayor Mapp. They were able to meet other New Jersey Mayors and had the opportunity to meet one of the Democratic candidates running for Governor of New Jersey, Phil Murphy.

 

Another highlight was hearing from student, Karen Silinas. Karen’s goal is to be a detective and she had the opportunity to work with Carl Riley, Director of Public Affairs and Safety. “I had a wonderful experience and I had the opportunity to meet everyone in the department.

 

I was able to see how all the jobs work together.”

 

The day culminated with an interactive session where the mentors and mentees shared their experiences of the day. The students were invited by Council President, Rebecca Williams to join the City’s Youth Commission.

 

The goals of the event were to help youth:

• Think about their futures
• Think about careers that may be of interest to them
• Learn about required education and other resources needed to achieve their goals
• Develop an understanding of local government operations and management
• Participate and discuss community issues and develop solutions

 

Next steps include the students attending the Council meeting on July 15, 2017 and possibly being appointed to the 15-member Youth Commission Board. The Youth Commission currently has openings for 13 youth on the board and based on the excitement generated by the Take Over Day, the students expressed a lot of interest in being appointed and active on the Youth Commission Board.

 

The mentors enjoyed the day just as much as the mentees andthe City administration is considering hosting a similar half-day event during spring break next year.

 

“This event was not only about exposing our youth to the inner workings of our City Government,” said Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, “It was also about lighting a spark which can lead to civic engagement on several levels. Our youth are our biggest asset; providing mentorship and paths to education is not merely an act of goodwill but one of obligation. This “Youth Take Over”initiative is just one of the many creative ways that my administration seeks to engage that responsibility and build the City’s legacy for the future.”

 

“The Youth Take Over Day was a success for both mentees and mentors. We were honored to work with Mayor Mapp and the City of Plainfield, and we are especially pleased that Mayor Mapp has put youth at the center of his efforts to foster community well-being, said Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, President of GrassROOTS Community Foundation.

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