New Dartmouth Youth Council is now active

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Every Monday, seated in the conference room in the far corner of the DHS Guidance Office, you will find a group of students eager to create transformative projects that are capable of improving our school and community. The ideas and projects are limitless, the sell is simple. We provide the platform, and the students of DHS provide the voice and ideas. This ambitious group that meets weekly in the guidance office refers to itself as The Dartmouth Youth Council (DYC).

The DYC is a group who is ready to create change, both in our school and in the surrounding community. Most importantly, we are anxious to serve our fellow students at DHS by providing a platform for local youth voices. The DYC is the brainchild of our Town Youth Advocate, Jennifer Cabral, who has held the position since September 2015. Mrs. Cabral was inspired to form this group when she attended a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) conference in 2015. In the end, this conference led to what is now the DYC.

I really liked the model [of the youth council]. It’s a positive development. It is peer-to-peer development and communication, and it’s giving peer leadership roles and responsibilities. Being able to take a stand and a voice for their school and for their town.”

— Dartmouth Youth Advocate Jennifer Cabral

When asked what led her to start the group, Mrs. Cabral said, “I really liked the model [of the youth council]. It’s a positive development. It is peer-to-peer development and communication, and it’s giving peer leadership roles and responsibilities. Being able to take a stand and a voice for their school and for their town.”

From the SADD conference, Mrs. Cabral created a program known as the Rise group. This group was grounded in a commitment to attending to the social and emotional issues within the community, especially those important to the community’s local youth. The Rise group has now morphed into now the current chapter of the DYC at the Dartmouth Middle School. This group meets two hours after school every Tuesday and Thursday.

The DYC at DHS was created this year as a new chapter at the high school. Interest in creating a program began at the beginning of November, with the first official meeting taking place on November 26.

Junior Gavin Alves is the President of the DYC. Alves collaborated with Mrs. Cabral to bring this program to the high school level. “I wanted a program like the Council because I really enjoy taking on important tasks and making my voice heard,” he said. “The philosophy which I like to go by is ‘If not me then who, and if not now, then when?’”

The DYC has initiated several new important community projects. As an example, the DYC is currently in the works of initiating discussions between Dartmouth Public Schools and the Wampanoag tribe to discuss the use of the Indian logo.

Another important and locally relevant project involves developing and disseminating public service announcements for community members related to the harmful effects of JUULing. This project is being undertaken by the DYC in coordination with the Dartmouth Community Television staff. In the end, these are only a few of the projects the DYC seeks to accomplish in the near future.

The DYC is currently looking for new members. Meetings are every Monday after school in the guidance office conference room. The DYC and Mrs. Cabral are offering community service hours for those who are involved, especially those who may need hours for the National Honors Society or other related obligations. We encourage DHS students to join us in our efforts to make Dartmouth a community that meets the needs of all its citizens while always focused on improvement. Be the change you want to see in the community. Help change Dartmouth for the better. Join the DYC.

For more information visit our website.

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