INDIANAPOLIS — A celebration this week for a group of dedicated youth in Indianapolis. Over the past nine months, the Indianapolis Youth Commission met every two weeks, sometimes every week, with the goal of making positive changes in the city.
This group of eight young people gave city leaders their perspective on issues like violence prevention, IMPD policies and public transportation. For them, the youth perspective is critical in decision-making.
“It’s very important because we’re doing it,” Shaneice Brown, Commission Chair, said. “We’re doing most of the work, our ideas, whatever we look up, whatever we feel like we want to provide to the community we get to do it and get to share it. Even if we don’t make actual change, we still make a change within ourselves within this program.”
Along with Brown, the other members include Vice Chair Madison Guyse, Secretary Ronnelle Collins, Alan Medina, Jared Johnson, Kharee Hoggs, James, Jones, and Bodler St. Louis.
Some of these young leaders went off to college during their service in the commission and yet stayed committed to the meetings. Through the commission, they partnered with a city-county council member to understand how to propose solutions to city leaders while also voicing their perspectives and opinions to people in power.
They also participated in community events, wrote multiple press releases, agreed to news interviews and took the initiative to set up conversations with leadership in IMPD, the Office of Public Health & Safety and IndyGo.
This youth commission is a pilot program that began this year. Now, the commissioners will serve as advisors to the next youth commission.