The Youth Leadership Program took part in the Massachusetts Youth Jobs Rally in late February to show our support of youth jobs through out the state. Ian gives us this great report:
Over the past couple of months, we have met up with the Youth Jobs Coalition on multiple occasions as they trained us for the Youth Jobs Rally. The Rally is where we, along with hundreds of other teens, gathered downtown in support of plentiful jobs for teens everywhere in Massachusetts. The Rally was held on February 21 over February Vacation. The morning before we had one last meeting, where we went over what to do once we entered the state capital building. Not only would we be meeting with the politicians and asking them to support youth jobs, but we would also be teaching other teens participating in the rally how to do so too. The Youth Jobs Coalition did a great job in preparing us for the rally.
After a successful opening ceremony at Faneuil Hall, we walked to the state house and met up with the other teens. We recalled the lessons that the Coalition taught us, and passed them on to our fellow youth. We taught them to respect their politician, share personal stories about why youth jobs are so important to them, and to be specific about what they ask for. We then split up and met with the representative from each of our neighborhoods. I had a meeting with Representative Liz Malia of Jamaica Plain, and she was clear in her support for youth jobs. She filled us in about her future plans on the topic and gave us her business card so that we could meet up with her again some time in the future.
Overall, we think that this year’s Youth Jobs Rally was a great success. Not only did Massachusetts’ youth display their energy and passion for their jobs, but it was clear that many of the state’s politicians were with us. Mayor Thomas M. Menino attended the opening ceremony, along with many other powerful speakers. It was great to know that our voices were being heard and our demands were being considered. The support for Youth Jobs is increasing, and I’m sure it will continue to grow over the upcoming years.