MYC, Youth in Politics

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MYC. Where to start? In my personal experience through Monroe Youth Council, I have had tons of fun, met new people on the local and national level, traveled and experienced politics in a new light. All things that have helped shape me into a better person and educate me on people and politics around the country. Locally we are able to better our city as we come up with ideas on how to do that, and nationally we can listen to others who helped their community in similar or completely different ways and bring that home with us. MYC has provided me and many others with this amazing opportunity and I’m extremely grateful.

Halfway through my eighth grade year, my mom came to me with a bunch of papers and an opportunity. “My friend Pete is in charge of this group called MYC and you should definitely think about joining it,” she said. I thought about it. I joined. It was weird at first because I had to figure out what was going on. Eventually, I did, and I learned that we were helping and planning with the events that MYC already heads up, like the Easter Eggstravaganza, or Halloween Happenings, etc. and also coming up with other ideas that MYC could help with. One time a girl in the club asked if MYC wanted to partner with another club from CATA who was planting flowers around the school. Ideas like this that are volunteer-based and help to better our city is exactly what MYC loves to help with.

Now, the technical part of MYC. The requirements for joining are, you have to live in Monroe or go to a school in Monroe, and you cannot be a rising senior. This is why you see a lot of kids from  CATA, the Early College, Monroe, and Union Academy in our group. Of course, to represent Forest Hills, we now have 5 members (yay!). You must be actively involved in the club in order to go to the D.C. trip or the other annual trip in the fall to a city in the nation – which changes every year. There is not any number of hours you need per year or semester.

One of our biggest events is the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference or NLCCCC and the City Summit. The NLCCCC trip is the annual trip to D.C. which takes place in March. I’ve participated in this trip twice so far. The City Summit trip’s location changes every year so you can visit different cities. In 2017 the trip took place in Charlotte, then Chicago the next year, and in Fall 2019 we go to San Antonio. In D.C., there are numerous things you can do around the city, tourist-wise. We usually spend one day on monuments and another day and a half on museums and general attractions. Two days are spent on meetings for the conference and Two days are spent on travel. During our sightseeing, we visit all the monuments, big and some of the smaller ones, walk or ride the Metro to see these parts of the city and visit lots of museums. My favorites are the Natural History Museum and the African American History Museum. Our hotel this past year was called the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. It was across the street from Connecticut Ave., a busy little street, full of different types of restaurants and other things, and most importantly the Metro. We were at the Woodley Park-Zoo station and the escalator that takes you down is the 3rd longest in D.C.! It’s 102 ft down and very steep. At the meetings for the conference, we listen to politicians and young leaders in NLC speak about their experiences in their own cities which can give others ideas about how they can help their own city back home. We play a lot of games with each other and depending on the meeting, there’s food. The City Summit is run basically the same way but it’s much less refined. The meetings are more specific to the city – to use as an example – among other things. More people, outside of the certain groups in the cities around the nation, attend the CCC so D.C. has to be a little more “grown-up”. All of these trips have shaped me culturally, allowed me to travel and see things around cities I would not normally be visiting. You make friends with the people in your own cities group and with other kids from other cities. The trip is completely funded by the city, so, airfare, hotel, metro cards, meals, and everything in between is funded by your city.

If you’re interested in joining reach out to one of the leaders, Hope Tanner or Pete Hovanec, or one of its members and they can help you apply.

Thanks, City of Monroe!