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Teens to Serve on NYC Community Boards

Posted on April 22, 2015 by Alice Kenny  |  Share

Downtown Express photos by Dusica Sue Malesevic Teens interested in applying for community board positions debated the best way to spend $100 million of public money during an exercise in Borough President Gale Brewer’s office last Friday.

It had all the makings of a typical teen party — pizza and soda, excited chatter, and of course, young people, writes Dusica Sue Malesevic in Downtown Express. But it was no party, but rather a meeting to discuss a serious commitment that some adults would shy away from: serving on a community board. And far from shying away, students from Catholic Charities’ Alianza Division in collaboration with the High School for Media and Communications, were active participants.

Each potential applicant took turns introducing him or herself, stating their age and their school or university…The meeting gave the teens the opportunity to learn community board basics and ask questions that are specific to their age and circumstances: homework, going off to college and working with mostly adults. For 17-year-old Shirlyn Perez, a junior at High School for Media and Communications, to serve on a board is an opportunity that is “very appealing — not only because I get to contribute to my community but also learn a lot from it.” Perez, who lives in Washington Heights, said she will definitely be applying to her neighborhood’s board, C.B. 12. “It’s an exposure to many other things that we don’t get to experience at school,” she said. Perez said she would focus on the issues of low undergraduate rates and drug use in her neighborhood. Her classmate, Marleny Delarosa, 16 and from the Bronx, said she would also apply for C.B. 12. “I care for my community so I’m interested in knowing what’s going on and what I can do to help improve it,” she said.

Read the full coverage in Downtown Express

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