New York's Children's Aid Society Teens Speak Out-On Education

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Fourteen teens from community schools and centers across The Children's Aid Society visited City Hall on April 30th

It was Martin Luther King, Jr. who said "Intelligence plus character -- that is the goal of true education."  Well, intelligence and character were certainly in abundance when local teens from The Children's Aid Society community centers and schools voiced their opinions, insight and concerns on educational issues at a recent visit to City Hall.

These articulate young men and women participated in an interactive discussion with New York City Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development, Dennis Walcott, on topics such as municipal government control of the NYC school system, parental involvement, overcrowded classes and gang violence.  It was a win-win exchange of ideas. The students gained an appreciation for the role that government plays vis-à-vis their education, as well as a sense of empowerment in knowing that their collective voice is being heard. The Deputy Mayor was duly impressed by the young people whose educational best interests he, in his official capacity, is entrusted.

This visit to City Hall grew out of the fifth annual Youth Speak Out on Education Conference, held in February 2009 and presented by Children's Aid and the Audrey Miller Poritzky Education Fund for Children. Students researched, wrote and performed lively presentations on a topic of their choosing - the New York City school environment and academic success. As in years past, Deputy Mayor Walcott attended the Speak Out and invited these motivated teens to City Hall for a more in depth conversation.