The future of law enforcement, youth violence, the elevated costs of higher education—CIW YOU(th) participants asked Mayor Rahm Emanuel and City Hall representatives to address our city’s toughest problems at a meet and greet Monday, March 9.
Emanuel and the panel blended insights into city politics with advice to high school upperclassman.The 18 CIW YOU(th) in attendance were the top-performing participants in Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) 2014, representing a hyper-engaged group of CPS high school students who attended multiple events and completed reflection pieces on their experiences. At Monday’s event, the students had the opportunity to discuss many of the issues that impact them most with Emanuel and a panel of his staff that included Innovation Delivery Team member Pedro Pedroza, Deputy Director of Education Arnie Rivera, Deputy Policy Director Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry and Press Associate Catherine Turco.
“Education is at the core of [reducing youth violence],” Pedroza said, sparking a conversation on education that became a theme throughout the program. Panelists urged students to apply to One Summer Chicago, the city’s summer employment program, and Emanuel stressed the continued importance of a broad liberal arts education, citing his own experiences at Sarah Lawrence College.
“This was a great opportunity for the future leaders of Chicago to meet our city’s current leadership,” CIW YOU(th) Director Rachel Graham said. “The discussion gave students a deeper perspective into how change is enacted in Chicago.”
In the short term, Emanuel reminded students to focus on their individual goals. “Who’s a senior?” he asked, closing out the program. A handful of students raised their hands. “Who’s going onto college?” Every hand remained raised.