Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley is looking for youth leaders from Jamaica Plain to help fill his Youth Advisory Council, the DA's office said Wednesday.
The 21-member council draws residents from across the region to provide input on policy, legislation and crime-fighting strategies that affect young residents.
"Young people today are smarter and more sophisticated than ever before," Conley said in a statement. "They're opinionated and they're ready to share their views if adults are ready to listen. The Youth Advisory Council is an opportunity for them to build experience for future leadership, but it's every bit as much an opportunity for us to explore new and effective ideas."
Those interested in applying must be entering their sophomore or junior years of high school in the fall. Conley said he is looking for a wide variety of residents from schools in Boston, Chelsea, Revere and Winthrop, as well as from such programs as Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., The Talented and Gifted Latino Program that serves high schoolers at UMass Boston, and the Children's Services of Roxbury's Youth and Police in Partnership program, among others.
Conley will meet regularly with the YAC along with members of his senior staff and other adults interested in helping to identify issues of importance to the area's youth.
"Our goal is to recruit as diverse a field of panelists as possible," Conley stated. "We're looking for youth people with ideas and initiative, but we also want them to represent the face of Suffolk County in terms of ethnicity, socio-economic background and life experience. The short-term goal is input from a committed group of young leaders, but the long-term goal is to build awareness and engagement in all Suffolk County's youth."
The most urgent activity, Conley said, would relate to gun violence, dating violence and substance abuse. Academic credit for participation will be determined by the students' schools, and the council would provide volunteer experience for prospective college students, the DA's office said.
"There's much more to the District Attorney's office than prosecution," Conley stated. "We want to show our policymaking side to teens who might not have considered us when thinking about government and public service."
Interested youths can apply online at http://wp.me/pKHdm-1Vw, as well as by sending applications by email to Legislative Director Fatima Breton at Fatime.Breton@massmail.state.ma.us.
Applications are due by May 23.