Fifteen Selected for CH Youth Advisory Commission

Cleveland Heights Youth Advisory Commission. Back row (from left) Jeremy Holmes, Dee Marsky, Joey Niccoletti, Tre' Grady, James Moore, Emily Vinson, Amanda Murray, Quintero Mack, Alexandria Keller, Kayla Primes, Council Member Jason Stein, Laurel Brown, Payton Meeks and Garth Bennett. First row (from left) Joey Houser, Shani Gelles,  Ellen Posch, Alice Janigro, Sydney Cook and Joshselyn Smith. Picture by Pam Raack.

On March 18, the City of Cleveland Heights selected 15 ninth, tenth and eleventh grade residents to serve on its first-ever Youth Advisory Commission (YAC).

The formation of the YAC was spearheaded by Council Member Jason Stein, who came up with the idea because he wants young people in Cleveland Heights to have an opportunity to "speak out and be heard."

Members of the YAC met March 21 and April 18 and decided to host a teen night as their first project. While Stein serves as liason to the YAC and there are three non-voting adult members, Stein said that the group is "youth-driven."

Before youths could begin applying for a position on the YAC, Stein spoke to Doug Heuer, CH-UH superintendent, who was "very supportive" of the idea. He also sent letters to principals of private high schools in Cleveland Heights and nearby cities.

More than 20 young people applied for a position, and because there were "so many qualified applicants," council decided to select 15 members—five more than the 10 it had originally planned to choose. The youth members are Garth Bennett, Laurel Brown, Sydney Cook, Shani Gelles, Tre' Grady, Joey Houser, Alice Janigro, Alexandria Keller, Payton Meeks, Amanda Murray, Joey Niccoletti, Ellen Posch, Kayla Primes, Joshselyn Smith and Emily Vinson. Eleven members attend Cleveland Heights High School, two attend Gimour Academy, one attends Benedictine High School and one attends Beaumont School. Council selected the members unanimously.

In addition to Stein, Dee Marsky, recreation supervisor for the city, advises the group. The three adult members are Jeremy Holmes, a teacher at Cleveland Heights High School; Quintero Mack, a representative of the Cleveland Heights Police Department; and James Moore a Recreation Advisory Board member.  

The YAC will meet again on May 23 at the Cleveland Heights Community Center. The YAC’s Teen Night will take place June 14, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Community Center.

Simone Quartell

Simone Quartell is a Heights Observer intern.

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Volume 6, Issue 5, Posted 12:49 PM, 04.30.2013