For Immediate Release - September 12, 2008

Governor Patrick Swears In 28 Young Leaders to Governor's Statewide Youth Council

BOSTON- Friday, September 12, 2008 - Governor Deval Patrick will swear in the inaugural members of the Governor's Statewide Youth Council today, keeping to his commitment to broaden civic engagement throughout Massachusetts.

The Council, established by executive order in April, encourages young people to become involved in their communities and to participate in tackling the state's biggest challenges, such as education reform, teen violence or climate change, and by assuming leadership and planning roles. The swearing-in ceremony will take place this afternoon at the Grand Staircase in the State House in Boston.

"I welcome the insights, perspective and leadership of these young people on the issues facing our Commonwealth," said Governor Patrick.

The Youth Council will hold formal sessions quarterly, focusing on the Governor's priorities of education, economic development, civic engagement, and community outreach, advising the governor as representatives of all Massachusetts youth. In addition to their quarterly meetings, Youth Council members will gather independently to share what they see in their communities and talk about how state government can partner with local communities to create solutions.

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the Governor's Office of Community Affairs, will oversee council meetings and activities. Both offices worked through a grassroots effort with 350 young people and 83 community-based organizations from around Massachusetts to develop the Youth Council. During a six-month process - which included four meetings in the cities of Boston, Lowell, Worcester and Springfield - young people created the scope, mission and structure of the Youth Council.

Members completed a rigorous application process that started in April and ended this summer. The selection process included 48 reviewers from various state agencies.

The Council is comprised of 28 members - two representatives from each of the Commonwealth's 14 counties. Members were selected by an application review committee for their excellence in leadership and their outstanding commitment to create change in their communities. Members range from ages 14-20. Members will serve two-year terms on the Council.

Youth Council members include:

Barnstable County

  • Patrick Johnson, age 18 - Brewster
  • Lauren Logan, age 15 - Cotuit

Berkshire County

  • Louisa Wilde Carman, age 14 - Stockbridge
  • Daniel Tassone, age 17 - Pittsfield

Bristol County

  • Rashad Coleman, age 17 - New Bedford
  • Lillian Phuong, age16 - Fall River

Dukes County

  • Connor Johnson, age 17 - Vineyard Haven
  • James Flynn, age 16 - Oak Bluffs

Essex County

  • Stanley Narcisse, age 19 - Haverhill
  • Estephania Villar, age 15 -Lynn

Franklin County

  • Cathryn Lamontagne, age 17 - Plainfield
  • Mirasia McGahan, age 17 - Greenfield

Hampden County

  • Valerie DiCristoforo, age 15 - Monson
  • Chris Alvarez, age 17 - Springfield

Hampshire County

  • Salomon Moreno, age 17 -Amherst
  • Natasha Gonzalez, age 18 - Easthampton

Middlesex County

  • Eddie Mercado, age 19 - Lowell
  • Courtney Durant, age 17 - Lowell

Nantucket County

  • River Bennett, age 17 - Nantucket
  • Georgina Morley , age 16 - Nantucket

Norfolk County

  • Jose Rodrigues, age 17 - Stoughton
  • Andrea McDonagh, age 14 -Weymouth

Plymouth County

  • Brianna Busby, age 14 - Wareham
  • Michael Mayes, age 18 - Marshfield

Suffolk County

  • Katie Malveira, age 16 -Winthrop
  • Andrew Johnson, age 15 - Dorchester

Worcester County

  • Justin Velez, age 15 - Lancaster
  • Danielle Pingue, age 16 - Worcester