Representing Chelsea on the Washtenaw Youth Commission is important for Joseph Brodeur
As one of his goals and hopes in being part of the 2023-24 Washtenaw County Youth Commission program, Joseph Brodeur, a sophomore at Chelsea High School, wants to help foster genuine partnerships between adults and youths in his school district.
The Youth Commission program, currently in its fourth year, aims to serve in an advisory role to provide an outlet for advocacy through diverse youth-driven leadership. As an example, the commission will assess and explore youth issues in the community through surveys, focus groups, interviews and town hall meetings.
The Sun Times News connected with Brodeur by email to ask him about this new opportunity.
“Being a representative for the WC Youth Commission brings forward many opportunities for me to help out my local community, and also to make our county a better place at addressing diverse concerns,” he said. “We hope to give youth a voice to be heard with our concerns at a government level as well as at a school level.”
The county's webpage describes this commission this way:
The Washtenaw County Youth Commission works to make life better for teens in Washtenaw County. The Youth Commission: discusses and analyzes youth issues in the community, educates youths about important issues in their community, and recommends changes and programs to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. The Youth Commissioner consists of 21 members, 2 representing each district and 3 at-large representatives. Commissioners must be 13-18 years old.
The program is facilitated in partnership with MSU Extension 4H Development, Neutral Zone, and advised by the Washtenaw County Commissioners.
Brodeur said the group pinpoints a variety of local issues.
“We will take steps to address each issue and come to the best solution possible,” he said. “For example, we hope to foster genuine partnerships between adults and youths in our school district. With the next deadline of April 2024 to apply for these positions, I hope there are more applicants in the mix.”
He said there are many students from various school districts within Washtenaw County that represent their school.
“As the only representative from Chelsea High School, I hope to incorporate the practices and strategies to increase participation in this program in future years,” said Brodeur. “If students can partner with adults to present classroom and school-wide goals from a youth's perspective, that would benefit everyone.”
For students who are interested in joining the Commission, they must meet the following criteria:
Be between the ages of 13-18, fill out the required application, and must reside within Washtenaw County.
Applications for the 2024-2025 Commission will be due April 2024. The Commission members will serve from September through June. For more information about the program, contact: The Neutral Zone, 310 East Washington St. Ann Arbor MI 48104, (734) 214-9995 http://www.neutral-zone.org/