Teens Visit City Hall to “Speak Out” on Education
Fourteen teens from community schools and centers across The Children's Aid Society visited City Hall on April 30th at the invitation of New York City Deputy Mayor for Education and Community Development Dennis Walcott.
Mr. Walcott met with the teens in City Hall’s famous Blue Room to continue a dialogue on education that began in February at the annual Youth Speak Out on Education. The teens impressed Mr. Walcott with their interest in and passion for education issues at the conference, presented by Children’s Aid and the Audrey Miller Poritzky Education Fund for Children, and again at City Hall.
The teens took advantage of the rare opportunity to speak directly to an elected official whose decisions impact their educations. Mr. Walcott, who has met with other Children’s Aid Society teens in the past, listened intently and engaged the youth in a true dialogue. The wide ranging discussion touched on everything from mayoral control of the New York City school system to the school environment, including security and overcrowding, as well as gang violence, parental involvement and undocumented immigrants.
Before and after the meeting, the teens were treated to a tour of City Hall, during which they learned about the building’s architecture and its importance in the city’s rich history.
The students left City Hall with a deeper understanding of their city’s government, its relationship to their educations and their own place as possible future leaders.