Corcoran Students Meet with Mayor Walsh, Learn About Importance of Active Citizenship
Published on 2/11/19
District News Corcoran High School
“We need more safe places for teens to hang out,” one Corcoran student suggested.
“We need more age-appropriate programs that we can take part in,” another added. “And not just during the summer, but all year long.”
Corcoran seniors enrolled in the school’s Active Citizenship class recently met with Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, to share their concerns about – and suggestions for – the City of Syracuse.
Students asked about abandoned homes, bringing grocery stores to the city, litter and neighborhood clean-up, violence, poverty and more.
The course, approved by the SCSD Board of Education last spring, is intended to help students spend more time engaging in the political process by learning the knowledge and practicing the necessary skills to be an active citizen.
For one project, students were asked to write letters to Mayor Walsh detailing an issue they are passionate about, a problem they see in the City of Syracuse or a suggestion for an improvement in the city. Upon receiving the letters, Mayor Walsh planned a visit to Corcoran to speak with students directly about their ideas.
The Mayor spoke about his background and career path, his goals and the initiatives he has implemented in his first year in office. He also stressed the importance of registering to vote.
“This class has really opened up my perspective on politics,” Josiah Carnegie explained. “I never really watched the news before this class. But now, I watch it so I can see what’s going on. After meeting with the Mayor, I feel better about what’s changing in our city… I feel like he’s really listening to us.”
“This has been one of the most important classes I’ve taken in high school,” Ciara Hale said. “It’s teaching us about real life… about things that are actually happening around us. I feel like it’s helped us grow up a lot. And I feel like our leaders are starting to hear our voices. As teenagers, we see a lot happening and we have a lot of ideas. It’s important that we share them!”
As part of the class, students are also encouraged to take part in community service projects. Earlier in the school year, they partnered with The Salvation Army in their annual holiday food drive, and helped organize a holiday card project.
Now, students are making action plans for their own service projects. Some students are planning to host fundraisers or become active in local events; Ciara said she plans to sell Vera House White Ribbon Campaign wristbands and walk in a local Women’s March.
We’re proud of these Corcoran students for showing what active citizenship truly looks like!