I have spent years serving Ithaca’s young people as a tutor and mentor in Boynton Middle School, Ithaca High School and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (CCETC). I serve on the board of Greater Ithaca Activity Center (GIAC) and CCETC and I chaired the Committee to Create the Ithaca Youth Council.
I understand that the youth of this community need only to be empowered. If we provide them with a safe and positive environment we can produce a generation of young people that will change the world.
Our youth programs need to do more than provide a safe space and recreation, though this is incredibly important.
They also must provide our young people with job-training and life skills, teach them how to use a credit card responsibly and open a bank account, how to do well at interviews. And they must engage our youth on difficult issues like racism, sexism, and hetero-centrism. Our youth programs provide a perfect venue for creating a generation of empowered, capable, and accepting Ithacans.
The Mayor must be an effective and persuasive advocate at the State level for local youth funding.
The City of Ithaca should:
- Continue to support GIAC, the Southside Community Center, and the Ithaca Youth Bureau
- Work to ensure our youth programs are not just recreational, but also meaningful.
- Urge the state to continue their support. We need youth programs now, not incarceration programs later