The Paterson Youth Council is an organization that was formed in the summer of 2006 and currently consists of approximately thirty students. The mission statement sums up the purpose of the organization: “We, the Paterson Youth Council, represent and engage the youth of Paterson to create opportunities that better themselves and their community. We strive to develop positive community change and influence young leaders to remember their past, improve their present, and affect their future.” To complete this mission statement, we regularly attend monthly Board of Education meetings and City Council meetings where we take place in discussions concerning the youth of Paterson. Currently, I am the President of the youth organization, which I am completely proud to hold such an honorable position.
One example of how attending these meetings are highly imperative is a recent documentation the Board of Education wished to pass. This documentation consisted of a rule concerning a new restrictive Grade Point Average students in Paterson must obtain to take part in extracurricular activities. The documentation showed that the GPA required will be much higher than the recent requirement and would increase over the next few years. As a group, the Paterson Youth Council held our own private meetings to review the documents and come to the conclusion whether we would be pro or con for it. After long discussions, we created our own documentation and presented it to the Board of Education stating that we are neutral for the idea. We explained that having such a restriction will then influence students to do better in class. However, we also explained that many students may not obtain the needed GPA and turn to negative actions to take up their time. This can then have negative impacts on the city itself. This is only one example of discussions, documentations and situations we have been part of with the Board of Education.
Also, we hold events to inform the public of our existence and to recruit more teenagers. The previous year, we held a Martin Luther King Youth Recognition Awards Event where we recognized certain teenagers for their activities and services they have been contributing to the city. Recently, we received a check from State Farm in recognition of our positive actions. It seems obvious that as a youth organization, we have done many things to better the city of Paterson. We wish to restore the past, notorious name for this city, Silk City. I am convinced that at the current rate we are going, Paterson has a brighter future to look forward to.