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In 2018 the MYC WikiWisdom Forum, sponsored by New Voice Strategies, engaged 8-12 grade students across Minnesota in a collaborative online conversation to answer this question: “How do we address the top issues facing our schools, including making schools safer and more supportive?” Youth opinion on a variety of topics was collected, including; mental health support, teacher diversity, testing and difficulty of classes, PSEO, transportation, internet accessibility, stress-level of students, afterschool opportunities, youth voice in important decisions, bullying/discrimination, and the school to prison pipeline (expulsions, suspensions, detentions, etc). On August 9, the thought leaders from this online forum met with Senator Tina Smith to present a report of actionable ideas.WikiWisdom Report
Statement on Sexual Harassment
In early 2018, in response to instances of sexual harassment at the MN State Capitol, the MYC created and released the following statement regarding sexual harassment: “In this day and age, it is completely unacceptable for citizens and government workers alike to fear they may become a victim of sexual harassment. The assaults reported against those representing us both federally and locally are alarming and discouraging; particularly as young people working within government. Sexual harassment is a deep, complex issue that must be addressed by all. For this reason, we applaud the efforts of Representative Maye Quade, Representative Becker-Finn, and Lindsey Port to create a task force on sexual harassment and hope that it will be representative of the communities most frequently targeted by attackers, including high school and college students.” (Read full statement HERE)
2018 MYC Student Survey
In 2018, the students of the MYC created and conducted a survey for the young people of Minnesota. 930 youth participated. Top issues of concern to Minnesota’s youth were identified as; Bullying/Discrimination, Mental Health Support, Drug and Alcohol Abuse, School Arts Funding, and Positive School Climate. See the full results HERE.
Youth Education Leadership Summit 2019
Across the state, young people are in positions of leadership in their schools and communities, working within the same system and towards similar goals regarding education and equity. However, we rarely have the opportunity to meet and collaborate directly. We know that strong youth voice, representation, and partnership is necessary in order to create a Minnesota that empowers ALL students.
To move us towards this goal, the Minnesota Youth Council will be hosting the very first Youth in Education Leadership Summit (YELS) on March 30th at Patrick Henry High School. Students across Minnesota grades 8 – 12 are invited to join us in the Spring of 2019 for an exciting day full of training and workshops designed and facilitated by their peers. They will learn from one another on critical topics – such as working with local school boards, writing bills, and the creation of a Student Bill of Rights. We are also inviting parents, teachers, and community members to participate in our Adult Partner sessions track, where they will be able to learn directly from students how to best support them as they work to shape their experience in education. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. YELS 2019 is made possible through the generous support of the Magellan Cares Foundation.
Youth Day at the Capitol
Each year, the Minnesota Youth Council helps to plan and host Youth Day at the Capitol. The event connects youth, educators, and youth workers around the legislative process through training on advocacy, civic engagement, and leadership.
Statement on School Safety
In 2018, in the wake of the Parkland School shooting, the members of the Minnesota Youth Council crafted and issued the following statement regarding school safety:
“The Minnesota Youth Council is the legislatively mandated voice of the youth of Minnesota, and as such, it has varied, unique and partisan individual voices. However, regardless of party lines, MYC members are in agreement that student safety and advocacy have always been and will remain non-partisan and massively important values. It is for this reason that the MYC would like to officially voice its support of the students rallying together, demanding that senseless acts of gun violence should never be a source of fear in public settings, most notably, in schools.” Read the full statement.
State of Using Documentary
The “State of Using” documentary was created by the MYC in response the 2013 MYC youth survey. In the survey, youth identified drug and alcohol abuse as a top issue facing youth in MN. Through the MYC’s mission to bring youth voice to discussions of community issues, this documentary highlights the voices of Noah, Matt, Leon, Alex and Kanesha and shows how substance abuse has impacted their lives. The film was created, filmed, and edited by youth, and was made by the Minnesota Youth Council, in partnership with Intermedia Arts and Youthprise.
One Voice Campaign
In 2012, Minnesota Alliance With Youth members and Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) in collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Education launched a messaging campaign called, “One Voice.” One Voice communicates to Minnesota’s youth the importance of experiencing success in school, work and life – both now and in the future.One Voice Video Channel