This was the pilot year for the Children’s Aid Society’s Youth Leadership Council (YLC). Students representing Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester County came together to identify and address an issue that they believe is affecting their communities. On June 1, seven of the eight team members came together to demonstrate their work.
After careful consideration, the YLC decided to focus on teen access to illegal drugs. Every one of the team members could speak to the pervasive nature of narcotics in their schools and communities. They did a lot of research, identified pieces of cultural media that glorified drug use, and spoke to professionals active in the fight against teen drug use.
Then the YLC went to their peers to gain more insight into the prevalence of illegal drugs. Among the important data they found that 61 percent teens felt like they can easily secure drugs at school.
The team arrived at several recommendations to combat drug use and now has a goal of getting 30,000 teens stand up with them and become leaders themselves. They’re off to a tremendous start.
Congratulations to the team: Talya Lee, Jamie Lee, and Lovell Lee, all from Fannie Lou Hamer Freedom High School; Cesay Camara, Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics; Julia Kissi, Holcombe Rucker H.S.; Mina Bunch, Thornton H.S.; Hadiaratou Diabate, Bronx Regional H.S.; and Nadia Martinez, Bronx Academy of Health Careers.