Douglas Andrade and Isabella Hazel El-Deiry, two seniors from the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, became members of the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council (GSYC) for Dukes County, in a ceremony on November 30. Set in the Grand Staircase of the Massachusetts State House, Gov. Deval Patrick presided over the swearing in of 28 new members. Two representatives from every county in the Commonwealth.
Bella and Doug, both active in the high school and the community, have committed to serve two years and attend meetings once every two months with staff and the governor. While on the council they will work closely with other youth council members and their adult sponsors to address youth issues. This past term the GSYC focused on anti-bullying in the schools.
Bella, sponsored by Marianne Larned of the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative (MVYLI), recently helped to engage the entire school in an assembly featuring Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the civil rights activist, writer, and journalist.
Leo Frame, teacher and founder of the Young Brothers to Men (YBM), says he sponsored Doug Andrade, based on his strong school and community involvements. Doug, the current president of the Young Brothers to Men (YBM), organized and ran the second annual Thanksgiving Food Basket drive. He also put together last year’s winter coat drive, which provided winter coats and clothes for over 170 men women and children.
In a response to a 2008 outbreak of youth violence in the Greater Boston area and in order to incorporate youth voices into the policy-making process, Governor Patrick created the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council (GSYC). Since that time, the Youth Council’s mission has been to advise the governor on decisions and policies to improve the lives of young people throughout the Commonwealth.
This is a respected council, Mr. Frame explained in a press statement, that gives young people access to the governor and at the same time increases their participation in government.
“It was purposefully designed to give a significant voice in the decision making process, and to help young people develop leadership skills and become active citizens,” Mr. Frame said. “This council has helped to foster relationships between youth and adult leaders throughout the Commonwealth.”