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Youth Advisory Panel allows students to share ideas with local officials

By ALLISON NORLIAN

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The first ever Youth Advisory Panel has been created in the Mohawk Valley and Thursday night was their first meeting held at Rome Free Academy.

Assembly-member Anthony Brindisi launched the panel as a push to get students involved in statewide issues and legislation.

Thursday night was held with no strings attached. Thirty students, junior and seniors from area high schools, voiced their opinions about the state of the community.

" I'm excited about having a student legislature. It seems like a form of government," said John Pierson, 17 of Oriskany, "And I want to voice my concerns about our region and hear some other peoples."

Assemblyman Brindisi's goal is to make the future of the community, the youth, a part of the planning process.

" This is our first ever youth advisory panel and the point is to get student involvement on some of the hot topics were facing in the state whether it's common core or school funding or bullying," Brindisi said, "It's important for me to hear students perspective so I can take their opinions back to Albany and advocate for what they are taking about."

The group discussed a range of issues from the common core curriculum, to cyber bullying and nano-technology.

Student opinions included the push for more job opportunities in the area, funding to libraries and area infrastructure and the need for more emphasis on sex education at a high school level.

The panel plans to meet three to four times a year.

Some of the students said they are participating to help with their future career goals.

Megan Sliski, 17 of Oriskany said, "  I came here tonight because I have an interest in Government and politics and I want to go to school for it."
 

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