NJ Mayors Discuss How They are Working with Youth to Build Healthier Communities

The 102nd Annual New Jersey State League of Municipalities (NJLM) Conference opens next week in Atlantic City, and keeping with this year’s theme of “Realizing Tomorrow’s Potential,” mayors from three communities supported by the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative will share how they are partnering with youth to develop projects that build healthier communities and improve the health and well-being of youth.

Mayor Wilda Diaz of Perth Amboy, NJLM President and Mayor of Bridgeton Albert B. Kelly and Mayor Betsy McBride of Pennsauken will discuss how they are increasing opportunities for youth to contribute their time, talent, and energy toward building healthier communities. While youth represent up to 40% of the population in many communities, they are often overlooked as assets in building healthier communities. In conversation with New Jersey Health Initiatives’ (NJHI) Bob Atkins, these municipal leaders will highlight their progress in working with youth-serving organizations in their communities to provide meaningful summer employment for youth, and develop the leadership skills of their community’s next generation of leaders.

The NJ State League of Municipalities Conference will be held November 14-16, and this panel session begins at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday November 15.

Bridgeton, Pennsauken and Perth Amboy are three of 11 communities supported by the NJHI: Next Generation Community Leaders initiative, which aims to prepare the next generation of civic and community leaders by providing them with the resources and technical assistance they need to focus the time, talent, and energy of youth ages 14-21 from varying educational, economic and social backgrounds. Earlier this fall, more than 100 youth and their teams’ adult coaches participated in a two-day retreat at YMCA Camp Ockanickon in Medford that included an introduction to population health, the political decision-making process and activities to strengthen communication and build trust. Learn more about all the communities funded through this initiative here, and follow the youth teams’ progress through #NJLeaders2030.

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