Hayley Patz of Peabody is among 28 members of the latest class of the Governors Statewide Youth Council. The new members, who were sworn in by Governor Deval Patrick in a recent State House ceremony, are from across the state. Patrick established the council by executive order in 2008 to encourage young people to become civically engaged in their communities and to help the state on such issues as education reform, youth violence, and antibullying, by assuming leadership roles. Patz, 17, is a junior at the Peabody Learning Academy, an alternative school for at-risk students that Peabody Veterans Memorial High School operates at Northshore Mall in partnership with the Simon Youth Foundation. “It’s a tremendous honor for her. She’s a phenomenal student,” said Seith Bedard, director of the academy, noting Patz’s extensive participation in the community service work that academy students undertake in Peabody. “She is a true role model not only for students here in the academy but in the city in general. . . . This is a great opportunity for her to get more involved at the state level in having an impact.” The new class, which will serve two years, is the third one since the council’s formation. The members, who range in age from 14 to 20, were selected by an application review committee based on their excellence in leadership and their outstanding potential to create change in their communities, according to state officials. The council members will hold formal bimonthly sessions and provide advice to the governor on youth issues. They will also gather independently to discuss issues in their communities and how the state can work with communities to tackle them.
By John Laidler| Globe Correspondent December 23, 2012
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