Maplewood appointed the first members of its new Youth Advisory Committee at the September 4, 2018 Township Committee meeting.
Township Committee member Dean Dafis, who will serve as liaison, introduced the committee and its inaugural members.
“I am delighted to introduce to you this evening the seven proposed FIRST members of our brand new Youth Advisory Committee,” announced Dafis. “This is an opportunity for the youth in our community to continue being agents of change, to lend their voice to the local issues that are important to them in the community, and to help shape the future of our community.”
Noting that the Township had received “a very enthusiastic response” to its call for YAC members, Dafis said that the town would continue to accept applications on a rolling basis “as we anticipate some members might get overwhelmed with school activities.”
The members appointed last night are Justin Strugger, Phoebe Hill, Lily Hawryluk, Miles Trumball, Dylan James and Bernadette Clawson. Dylan Reese Danuser, who could not be present last night, will be appointed at the next TC meeting.
Each new member addressed the TC. Many spoke of wanting to make positive changes in the community.
Phoebe Hill noted that she had been working with the student committee of SOMA Action. “It’s helped me realize how much youth can do,” said Hill. “I want to get other youth involved.”
Bernadette Clawson added, “If we want the future to be something we like, we need to take action.”
TC member Nancy Adams was clearly impressed, asking the new YAC members when they would be running for public office.
Regarding making a difference in the community, Dafis told the students, “You are already doing it! You are not only the future, you are the present.”
Deputy Mayor Frank McGehee was appointed alternate liaison to the committee.