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Youth Council Members Meet With Legislators

2012 Youth Day at the Capitol

February 21, 2012 (St. Paul, Minn.) – Minnesota’s youth converged on the State Capitol on Tuesday and legislators took notice. Enthusiastic young leaders from all four corners of the state spent the day educating and meeting with representatives about issues impacting youth. In particular, youth and their adult advocates discussed the benefits of comprehensive youth development policies. The event was hosted by the Youth Policy Alliance, which the Minnesota Alliance With Youth (the Alliance) is a partner.

Minnesota Youth Council
With more than 200 youth participating in the day, the Alliance’s Minnesota Youth Council (MYC) was a key to the event’s success. MYC’s primary Youth Day at the Capitol goal was to continue dialogue between youth and elected officials, but youth were also at the Capitol to advocate for strong education programs. “We believe investment in youth is an investment in a healthy Minnesota,” said Sarah Dixon, CEO and president of the Alliance. “Virtually every Minnesotan in every part of the state stands to benefit when the next generation of young adults is better prepared to contribute and participate in our economy and community life.” MYC provides youth with opportunities to discuss and take action on policy issues, and advise the work of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth and its partners.

Two experiences
Nadine Rosas Pfliego, a junior at Northfield High School met with Rep. Kelby Woodard. She plans to write a thank you note that also urges him to support AmeriCorps Promise Fellows to be placed at more schools in Minnesota. “Promise Fellows aren’t just there to help with (school work),” she says, “They support us when we don’t have anyone else.” Nadine was close to dropping out of high school last year, in part because her parents don’t speak much English and have difficulty helping her with school. Promise Fellows “supported me and motivated me to get through. Right now I don’t think I’d be in school if not for Promise Fellows.”

Ananaya Alwal, a senior at Worthington High School, was at the Capitol with students Apoman Abella, David Alatorre, Adyiam Kimbrough and Promise Fellow Gloria Alatorre. This was Ananaya’s second Youth Day at the Capitol experience speaking with her legislator, Rep. Rod Hamilton. She advocated for continued support for the Nobles County Integration Collaborative, telling Hamilton that she benefited greatly from a bus tour across Iowa and Illinois last summer where students did a service project in a different city each day. “We accomplished more in one week than many other students do in a year,” she said. The Collaborative also provides resources such as help with college applications, studying for the ACT test and career decision-making through job shadowing and business tours.

Photos are at https://mnyouth.net/

About the Minnesota Alliance With Youth
Founded in 1997, the Alliance is Minnesota’s leading convener, collaborator and capacity-builder for youth development. The Alliance seeks to strengthen youth success in school and learning, increase youth engagement in communities, develop and magnify youth voice, and advancing networking, collaboration, and innovation with entities that share our vision.

Partners in the Youth Policy Alliance are:
• Minnesota Alliance With Youth
• Mentoring Partnership of Minnesota
• Minnesota Workforce Council Association
• Minnesota Youth Intervention Programs Association
• Minnesota Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee
• Youthprise

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