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Elizabeth ClayPosted by:
Elizabeth Clay, Director of Grassroots Governance

Last Wednesday afternoon, we met with thirty Springfield Coalition Youth Ambassadors from different neighborhoods in Springfield as a part of the fall listening tour. They told us what they liked about living in Springfield and Massachusetts in general: Great history and famous people, good community centers, top-quality drinking water, universal health insurance, colleges nearby, the Basketball Hall of Fame and much more.

Then they talked a lot about what needed improvement, starting with where they spend most of their time: School. From buses to high school testing, bullying to the high drop-out rate- the students had some strong perspectives. Some suggested shifting the curriculum to include service-based and practice-oriented learning so they could apply their learning and connect with local businesses and non-profits, as well as adding health, financial literacy and home economics coursework.

Check out more of what they had to say in the video highlights (courtesy Springfield Institute) and here:

Many of these are issues that the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council will be advising the Governor on following their successful summit this weekend, stay tuned for an update from that event.
The Office of Civic Engagement hopes to connect with other organized youth groups in meetings next month. If your group would like to host a meeting, please email grassroots.governance@state.ma.us.

Special thanks to the Dunbar Community Center, Northern Educational Service, Inc. (NES) and the City of Springfield REACH program!

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