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37 Elizabeth Students Attend 61st Annual Youth in Government Day

Elizabeth New Jersey

Earlier today, Elizabeth students were given the opportunity to observe municipal business as a part of the 61st Annual Youth in Government Day.   “For many years, this unique opportunity has provided a forum for some of Elizabeth’s most talented students to participate in an exciting learning experience,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “It is inspiring to see the students’ eagerness to learn about Municipal Government and how well they performed in their roles as City officials for the day. I wish each and every participant learned something today and I wish them much success in their future endeavors.”   Students from the municipality’s public and parochial high schools assumed the positions of local officials during a morning conference in City Hall.  

This year’s Youth in Government Day included 37 young people from Elizabeth’s public and parochial high schools. Upon arrival, students gathered in Council Chambers and were assigned to officials. Following introductions, the young people spent a portion of the morning learning job responsibilities from their advisors.   The students took an external tour of the city for a first-hand view of the economic development and new initiatives that are occurring.  At noon, they gathered for a luncheon at Dolce Restaurant on South Broad Street in Elizabeth.   As a part of the day’s events, Latifa Ali, a senior at the Admiral William F. Halsey Jr. Academy, was presented the annual Mayor’s Youth of The Year Award. Since its inception 50 years ago, the Youth of the Year Award has recognized students for school leadership and community service.   Latifa Ali is the Valedictorian in her class and has throughout her years in high school been involved in a variety of clubs and activities. Latifa is a member of the school’s Student Council and President of Student Government. In addition, in 2014, she helped organize the school’s first Student vs. Teacher competition, which raised funds for school events and trips, such as visits to camp. With her strong leadership abilities and guidance, she helped to improve the school’s culture and student participation.   The activity-filled Youth in Government Day concluded with an afternoon City Council meeting at 2:00 p.m., where the students served as representatives for their assigned City Officials. Each year the Weekly City Council meeting is changed from its usual 7:00 p.m. meeting time in order to accommodate the student officials. At the end of the day, the students were presented with certificates of merit for their professionalism and performance throughout the event.