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Technology Connects Teaneck Teens With Boston Peers

Youth Advisory Board discusses community relations and shares ideas with Massachusetts teens through Google Hangout.

The following was submitted by the Teaneck Youth Advisory Board:

How do you bridge the gap with teenagers in Teaneck and teenagers in Boston?

With Google Hang Out, of course!

As Teaneck’s Youth Advisory Board continues to make unprecedented trends in the community, on Thursday, Jan. 30 the Municipal Council Chambers was transformed in to a live video stream conference center which brought two youth advisory boards from different states together.

Teaneck’s Youth Advisory Board (YAB) under the guidance of Councilwoman Lizette Parker, for the past seven years, has been continually working to provide an avenue that allows the teenagers in the community to bring their concerns to Township officials. Throughout the years the teens have discussed their ideas with various local officials, including the Mayor, Township Manager, School Superintendent and various township department heads.

Now, for the first time, they had an opportunity to meet another government appointed youth group that also seeks to make a difference in their community.   The Boston Mayor's Youth Council provides the City of Boston's young people with an active role in addressing youth issues. High school juniors and seniors are selected to serve as volunteer representatives of every neighborhood in the city.

The young advocates outreach to Boston teens, inform them of existing opportunities and listen to suggestions on what the city can do to improve its youth oriented efforts. The City of Boston, in partnership with Northeastern University and the Boston Bar Association, has sponsored the Mayor's Youth Council since 1994.

Kristie DeSena, Supervisor, Boston Mayor’s Youthline, met with Councilwomen Parker and Scott Pleasants, YAB Adult Advisor, in December and they discussed the possibility of the youth groups partnering.   The follow up to the adults meeting was coordinating with Shari Davis, Director, Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and facilitating the virtual meeting which served as an introduction for the students and an opportunity to share ideas and information.

Many items were discussed by the teenagers, including the positive aspects of the communities in Boston and Teaneck, i.e., food, activities, transportation, schools, and diversity. Some of the challenges both groups mentioned were youth involvement, legal and illegal drugs, health and fitness and sidewalk maintenance.

Although the population differences are significant (Boston 636,000 and Teaneck 39,000) the students found similarities in their desires to impact change and make a difference in their community. They summarized the meeting with a firm understanding that there are many young people in other cities making similar efforts towards improving their community. The students hope to host a joint meeting in Boston, later this year.
genevieve maiberger February 10, 2014 at 02:27 PM
Teaneck residents wish to say Thanks,to Mrs.Parker and Mr. Pleasant for their work with the youths of Teaneck.Thank You!

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