(Broadview, IL) – Village of Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson announced this week during the regular village board meeting that the youth mentoring program sponsored by her office is planning a "youth summit" slated to be held later this summer.
Thompson, who launched the youth mentoring program for grades 6-8 and that focuses on civic engagement, said that the summit, whose details still need to be finalized, would aim to bring state and county elected officials together with the students to engage in "a mutually beneficial conversation."
"We are planning on a youth summit this summer that will bring legislators to hear what is on the mind of Broadview’s youth," said Thompson. "We think that this would be a mutually beneficial conversation about civic engagement."
Thompson began her youth mentoring program, Broadview Young Scholars of Tomorrow, more than five-months ago, which brings students from Broadview’s Lindop Elementary School to village hall each month, to both raise student interest and awareness about local government policy making and to provide an afterschool safe haven.
"It’s important to me to educate the children that live in Broadview about the three branches of government and their role in civic engagement," said Thompson. "We talk about voting, we talk about policy and how to change policy that impacts them as a young person."
Last Thursday, Lindop Superintendent Janiece Jackson and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson visited Thompson’s mentoring group to discuss policy making in Cook County government.
"We are going to teach the children how to advocate so they can help their parents, too, if needed, to advocate and to have their voices heard at the Cook County government level," said Thompson. "We are going to teach them how to fill out witness slips at the county so they and their parents can have their views made known on ordinances proposed by county commissioners."
Students feel "safe" at village hall.
"After the session last Thursday, one of the young men came to my office and said, ‘Mayor, I just want to thank you for allowing us to come into village hall to be in a place that is clean, safe, and where we can be ourselves,’" Thompson said. "After school, those who have no other activities may not look for trouble but may find trouble, but when they come here, to village hall, they feel safe."
Monitoring, lunch, interaction with staff.
"We monitor them, we provide lunch, and they interact with the staff in the office, and after each session they all want to talk to Broadview Police Chief Thomas Mills," said Thompson. "This is the work that we should be doing for our youth."
Lobby for change, bring other kids along.
"It’s important that they learn how to make policy and lobby for change in any community and that other students follow them," said Thompson. "We have one 7th grader, "Big Dog," who has promised to bring other students to mentoring program next year. The kids are literally reaching back to get other children to model their participation."
via West Side, IL Patch
April 24, 2022 at 07:55AM