WATERTOWN, NY – The Jefferson County Youth Court program, with the support of a grant from Youth Alliance of Jefferson County, held a Youth Town Hall at Watertown High School on April 29, 2022. This event kicked off the beginning of Global Youth Service Weekend – a movement to create more civic engagement among young people.
The students in attendance thoughtfully participated in conversations about a variety of topics. Most notably, they shared ideas about how to keep youth positively engaged in the community, how to communicate to young people more effectively, and made suggestions for making Watertown a more desirable place for young adults to return to. Three of the Watertown City Council members graciously gave their time to partake in this event: Patrick Hickey, Cliff Olney, and Lisa L’Huillier Ruggiero.
Shar Beebe, Youth Court Program Coordinator, said, “It was a pleasure to work with the Youth Alliance of Jefferson County to make this event possible! The students shared feedback that will undoubtedly encourage future collaboration between the City of Watertown and nonprofits who can help bring some of their ideas to fruition.”
Patrick Hickey, City of Watertown Councilman, said, “One of the many takeaways from the
meeting was the need for the city to communicate with the student population by using forms of media that the students prefer. I look forward to sharing more of the results from this deliberation at our next City Council meeting.”
Jefferson County Youth Court
The Youth Court Program at the Resolution Center of Jefferson & Lewis Counties, Inc. provides an outlet for youth that need redirection through a restorative practice. It gives them the ability to interact with their peers in a constructive way by reflecting on their decisions, understanding how their actions affect others, and receiving retribution that does not inhibit future success but propels it. Participants in the program take accountability while learning community engagement skills, respect for the law, and how to communicate effectively with peers.