The Youth Committee met for the first time on September 28, 2021, to discuss the Committee’s role and goals over the next two years. Co-Chair Crystal Joseph provided an introduction to the Committee. She discussed identifying regional leads and how the Committee should be used as a resource to hear and engage youth. She emphasized we need to hear the youth and make them feel safe so they can work for and alongside us. Co-Chair Nick Doran gave an introduction and discussed the virtual registration toolkit and registering college students to vote.
Laura Ladd Bierman, LWVNYS Executive Director, provided an update on Students Inside Albany. Each local League can send up to two students, with the first student guaranteed and the second student on a first come first serve basis. The local Leagues get to decide how they want to select a student to send to Albany. Please send Laura an email if you are interested in learning more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additionally, Laura discussed the Civic Readiness Project being piloted in high schools. Laura also emphasized some of the important work local Leagues were doing and that we want to hear from them to share what they are doing for others and show off their accomplishments! We encourage everyone to keep sharing best practices so that we can update our website with youth resources/toolkits.
Each of the five (5) members of the Youth Committee introduced themselves. Unfortunately, Betty-Ann King could not make the meeting. Lindsey Houlihan introduced herself first and talked about some of the work the Westchester League was doing, including Running and Winning, which is a program other Leagues have run to introduce young people to candidates who have run for office. Jane Hatterer then provided some information on the Youth Civics Initiative (YCI) and its partnership with the League in NYC.
Right now, they are looking for college students, preferably journalism majors, to help mentor high school students with crafting content for YCI and beyond. If you would like to nominate a student ambassador for YCI please email Jane Hatterer: email@example.com. In addition, Jane talked about her role in the Civic Readiness Project.
Megan Nettleton talked about the programs organized in her local League, LWV of Tompkins County. Deb Cosher shared the prior successes that the Huntington League has had with both Vote18 and Vote 13. Laura brought up that the League received a grant to create seven 45-minute lesson plans for social studies teachers to use in their classrooms and will work alongside educators to both update and build out the module for high school classrooms.
At the end of the meeting, local Leagues discussed some of the programs they had worked on, while acknowledging the difficulties we have all experienced working with students during the pandemic. Many noted they had difficulty getting into schools or on campuses. Barbara Gundersen of Buffalo talked about the different PowerPoint presentations she shares with schools as an access tool to the classroom and said she would share the slides with the League. You can watch the recording here: https://youtu.be/_G4ClC_M4HY