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Students plan ways to impact their schools
during Youth Summit at Herkimer BOCES

Nov. 2, 2017




Herkimer student speaks at Youth Summit
Joseph Carney, a sophomore of Herkimer, speaks to students during the 2017 Herkimer County Youth Summit on Oct. 25 at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES. Carney served as the student master facilitator for the event.



HERKIMER – Students often know the most about what other students in their school are dealing with, but sometimes their input isn’t asked for enough.

That’s what the Herkimer County Youth Summit at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES is for, said Youth Summit Coordinator Kayleigh Murphy, who is project coordinator for the Community Partnership Coalition, a program of Catholic Charities of Herkimer County.

“I just think it’s really important that the youth are able to come here and work on the issues and concerns they see in their school communities,” she said.

The 2017 Herkimer County Youth Summit took place on Oct. 25 at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in East Herkimer. Students from Central Valley, Dolgeville, Little Falls, West Canada Valley, Mount Markham, Frankfort-Schuyler, Herkimer, Owen D. Young, Poland, Richfield Springs, the Town of Webb, the Herkimer BOCES Pathways Academy at Remington and the Valley Pathways in Technology Early College High School participated in the summit.

Joseph Carney, a sophomore of Herkimer, served as the student master facilitator for the event. He said likes to get involved with leadership activities and helping the Mohawk Valley and his school.

“I think it’s important to get together with other schools because you get opinions from people you don’t get to see every day,” he said.

Carney attended the Youth Summit last year as well, and Herkimer students ended up using their ideas for an initiative in their school, he said.

“We hope to take something back to our school again,” he said. “I think it’s really good to try to make a positive change.”

The Community Partnership Coalition took over the Herkimer County Youth Summit this year from the Herkimer-Oneida Counties Comprehensive Planning Program. Students in the planning committee were the ones who really drove some changes to the summit, Murphy said.

“It’s going to be more discussion and collaboration,” she said, noting that students also made suggestions that resulted in more technology being integrated such as the use of Kahoot!

Murphy noted that she participated in the Youth Summit while she was in high school.

“It’s kind of exciting getting to be the coordinator of it now,” she said.

The theme of this year’s Youth Summit was “taking the next step.” Students were grouped with peers from other schools to discuss and present about their choice among the topics of substance abuse, mental health awareness and distracted driving.

“It gives them the opportunity to pick whichever they want to talk about and feel most passionate about,” Murphy said.

Students then gather back with their own schools to work on ideas for projects for their school communities. This year’s Youth Summit set aside more time for the planning aspect, an emphasis is being placed on following up with students to help them carry out their ideas, Murphy said.

“This day is really about you guys,” she said, to students, during the opening of the summit.

Little Falls City School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Levatino was the Youth Summit chairperson and also spoke to students. He said he looks at the Youth Summit in two ways – with one being that it’s a way for students to come together from various school to identify important issues.

“I also look at it as the future of the Mohawk Valley and Herkimer County,” he said.

Levatino said the students are the next generation that can instill positivity, youth and energy into the community. He applauded the students for attending to address topics they care about.

“I think that’s very, very important,” he said.




Visual communications student holds up a shirt with the Youth Summit logo he made on it
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES visual communications media arts senior Drew Harrigan, of Central Valley, holds up a shirt with the logo he designed for the 2017 Herkimer County Youth Summit on Oct. 25 at Herkimer BOCES.


Kayleigh Murphy speaks to students at Youth Summit
Kayleigh Murphy, who is project coordinator for the Community Partnership Coalition, a program of Catholic Charities of Herkimer County, speaks to students during the 2017 Herkimer County Youth Summit on Oct. 25 at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES. Murphy is the Herkimer County Youth Summit coordinator.


Keith Levatino speaks to students at the Youth Summit
Little Falls City School District Superintendent Dr. Keith Levatino speaks to students during the 2017 Herkimer County Youth Summit on Oct. 25 at Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES. Levatino served as the Youth Summit chairperson.






 
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