The decisions government makes today will directly impact Vermont youth and their future. I was first elected to the Vermont House of Representatives at the age of 25, and I have always been aware of the disproportionatley small voice youth have in Montpelier. This Youth Iniative aims to ensure their ideas, hopes, and concerns are part of our discussions in Montpelier. We are at a momentous point in history and I believe youth are instrumental in shaping our future.
I will be undertaking three activities to amplify the voice of Vermont youth:
ACLU Summer Institute - This 8-day program brings a diverse group of high school juniors and seniors to Georgetown University in Washington, DC to learn how to build issue-focused campaigns. Students will learn directly from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and liberties critical to a free and open society. Learn more or apply. Scholarships are available.
Governor's Institutes of Vermont - This is a great opportunity for 9th-11th grade students to immerse themselves in a topic they are passionate about. Students can choose from eleven summer programs spanning the arts, engineering, environmental protection, digital media, and more, where they will learn from experts, expand their horizons, and make new friends from around the state. Plus, our sliding-scale tuition makes it accessible for every Vermonter. Applications are open now !
Youth Lobby Day, April 12, 2017 - Join youth of all ages in Montpelier to rally for Vermont and our future. More information and a full schedule of events.
UVM Town Hall Meeting, April 25, 2017 - I will be hosting this town meeting in the Memorial Lounge of Waterman, starting at 6:00PM. Students, and community members, are invited to join local legislators for pizza followed by a town meeting focusing on youth engagement and the issues students are interested in.
High School Town Hall Meeting, May 4, 2017 - Join our live studio audience at PBS in Colchester or watch live at 8:00PM on your local PBS station. This event will be hosted by Vermont Lt. Governor Zuckerman and include a panel of four youth activits. More information and to reserve your seats, or submit a question.
Each month I am visiting different high schools and youth activities to talk with and listen to students. Students are encouraged to lead tours of their schools, share innovative programs, ask questions, and explain their future goals. Since January I have visited Burr and Burton Academy in Manchester, the Governor's Institute winter session at Goddard College, and the Upward Bound Scholars Bowl that took place at Lyndon State College. If you would like to invite me to visit your school please CLICK HERE.
I am excited to host a High School Town Meeting on Vermont PBS. This event will broadcast live from their studio in Colchester, shown on PBS stations around the state, live streamed, and recorded for future download. This town meeting will be a forum for high school students to learn what has motivated a panel of young activists and then ask questions or share thoughts and ideas.
GET YOUR TICKETS
This event will take place with a live studio audience. Space is limited to 60. Reserve your tickets today!
ASK A QUESTION
If you are not able to attend this event your questions and ideas are still welcome. Submit your question or comment.
MEET THE PANEL
I have invited a diverse panel who, I think, represent some of the areas of interest to Vermont youth. Panelist will start the event by sharing what types of actions they participate in, what issues interest them, and what motivates them to get involved.
- Alex is from South Burlington. She is a Youth Representative Board Member, Youth Leadership Council Member, panelist, and peer educator for Outright Vermont. She is the president and founder of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club at South Burlington High School and the Student Representative Board Member on the South Burlington School District board. She is also a peer educator for Planned Parenthood. When she is not being an activist, Alex can be found behind a camera, playing the ukulele, or painting.
- Austin lives in Burlington and serves as 350VT’s lobbyist and Montpelier State House presence. He studied Community & International Development and Biology at the University of Vermont. Austin has worked on environmental issues in many capacities spanning research, policy, and communication with employers such as Renewable Energy Vermont, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, and the Office of the Governor before finding his way to the 350Vermont Team. When he’s not working, Austin can be found biking, hiking, or climbing right here in beautiful Vermont.
- Elise is from Hardwick. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2014, where she studied History and Secondary Education. After college, she served as an AmeriCorps member with the Vermont Youth Development Corps. She is passionate about human rights, the environment, and organizing on the local level. She is currently the Lead Organizer for Rights & Democracy VT, where she works on various social and economic justice issues and was one of the lead organizers of the Women's March on Montpelier.
- Haley is originally from Rutland county and a recent graduate of Saint Michael’s College, with a degree in Media Studies, Journalism, and Digital Arts. At St. Mike’s, Haley helped to coordinate and facilitate the mentoring relationships of dozens of mentor/mentee pairs through Little Brother Little Sister, a collaborative mentoring partnership between the Winooski community and Saint Michael’s College. Now, she has joined Mobius as a member of AmeriCorps VISTA. Haley is working to grow opportunities for mentor/mentee pairs to spend time and volunteer together.
I intend to complie a report, based on the above activities, which will highlight ideas, concerns, and interests I've learned through my engagement with Vermont youth over the past year. Vermont has some of the best schools, students, and teachers in the nation and I look forward to listening to them and learning from them as part of my Youth Initiative. I will present this report to all legislators at the beginning of the 2018 legislative session as a resource they can use when prioritizing legislative work.