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Youth Mobilizers target teen-identified issues

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By Carol A. Clark

Through a collaborative process of research with a goal of community change, the Los Alamos Family YMCA is hiring three to four high school age youth to work on youth-identified issues. Applications are due Friday at the Y offices at 1450 Iris Street. The Juvenile Justice Advisory Board (JJAB) in partnership with the Family YMCA sponsors the program. They are seeking motivated youth who are interested in having a voice in their community. “This is a response to what more we can do for youth,” said Family YMCA Executive Director Linda Daly. “We'll hire youth to do peer interviewing and surveying. We think the responses can be more in-depth through peer interviews than having teens check off a box on a standardized survey.” YMCA board member Sharon Stover explained the program evolved after JJAB member Barbara Marcille heard about it while attending a conference when Los Alamos was named one of America’s 100 Best Cities for youth. “JJAB voted and appropriated $9,000 for the Youth Mobilizers program,” Stover said. Municipal Court Judge Alan Kirk chairs JJAB and said this morning that Youth Mobilizers is an attempt by the board to look at making contact with youth through youth. “We’re trying to reach out a little bit differently,” he said. “We often invite youth to meetings but sometimes you just have to have kids talk to kids.” Youth selected for the program will earn $8 per hour and will work 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Daly said. Applications can be picked up at the YMCA front desk. For information contact, Lindsay Mulligan at the YMCA, 662-3100.