Last Friday, Nov. 30, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick swore in members of the statewide Youth Council at a ceremony at the State House. Stoughton's Danisha Dumornay is one of just 28 members to serve as part of this third Youth Council class.
The 28 members represent all 14 counties in the state. While this is still Dumornay's first term on the Council, this is actually her second year serving.
"They always have a "carry-over" representative so we can maintain consistency between each council and always have someone who has an understanding as to how our meetings should run and how to get things done efficiently," she explained.
The Governor also welcomed 28 alternate members to the Council, including Imani George from Stoughton.
Governor Patrick established the Council by an executive order in April 2008 to encourage young people to become civically engaged in their local communities and help tackle the state's biggest challenges, including education reform, youth violence and anti-bullying, by assuming leadership roles, a press release from the Governor's Office states.
Members were selected by an application review committee for their excellence in leadership and their outstanding potential to create change in their communities, according to the release. Members range in age from 14 to 20.
Dumornay is a 2012 graduate of Stoughton High School and now attends Suffolk University.
The Youth Council will hold formal bi-monthly sessions and will advise the Governor as representatives of Massachusetts youth. In addition to their bi-monthly meetings, Youth Council members gather independently to share what they see in their communities and talk about how state government can partner with local communities to create solutions, the release states.
The first two classes of the Youth Council worked with the Patrick Administration to advocate for the passage of several important policy issues, including the Governor’s 2010 anti-bullying legislation, according to the release.
"My experience has honestly been so invigorating and inspiring," Dumornay said. "I love meeting such hopeful, enthusiastic, and strong-willed youth of the Commonwealth. The Council has allowed me to create a network of motivated people who are ready to see a change in Massachusetts, as well as nationally."
“The progress Youth Council members have made over the past several years is remarkable, and I am confident that this amazing group of young people will carry on that tradition and leave the Commonwealth stronger for the next generation,” Governor Patrick said in a statement.