Desmond Manley-Member of the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council

Senior at St. Vincent St. Mary and Student Body President

Did you know that there is a Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council (MYLC) here in Akron? MYLC is a youth, civic leadership initiative designed to educate Akron’s youth about their government, community organizations and service-led projects. Participants learn about Akron’s history and social issues, tour City facilities and get a behind-the scenes look at how city government works. MYLC prepares area high school students to become positive role models, and allows them to build character and develop leadership skills through training and youth council meetings. Desmond Manley is one of the students taking advantage of the program so we sat down to have a chat with him about it.

  1. What do you think you get out of your involvement with the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council?

I get a chance to meet a ton of new people around Akron; people I would have never met had I not joined the Council. It’s a program that really brings people together. I’ve developed leadership skills and learned more about professionalism. Part of what I’ve learned is conversational and presentation skills. You learn how to control a room, how to be persuasive, and how to conduct yourself in a professional setting.

2. Do you have a favorite memory from your time on the Council?

I’m relatively new to the Council. I joined at the beginning of summer. My favorite bit so far was a kickoff event that we did recently. We met at Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It was just a great opportunity to meet some new people and work on our leadership skills together.

3. What are some of your other extra-curriculars besides the Leadership Council?

I run track. I’m student body President. I do the Model United Nations program and I’m part of our student ambassador program as well. We also have a ministry program at St. Vincent St. Mary’s where we do outreach to the community and volunteer work.

4. What are your plans for after highschool?

I definitely want to go to college. The plan is to go for either Business Administration or Political Science and then to go to Law School after that.

5. Do you think you’ll stay around Akron or go elsewhere?

I think I’ll start around Akron for sure. This is home base basically where I know a ton of people, have connections here with the community so yeah I think I’ll start here and then we’ll see.

6. Do you have a favorite spot in Akron?

Well I’m from the West Side so I’m probably a bit biased but I love my side of the city. I will say specifically though I really like Highland Square. It’s a really dynamic area with a diverse group of people and downtown is always fun too.

7. Would you recommend the Council to other students and why or why not?

Oh, absolutely. Just from the things I’ve been able to take away from it so far, it’s definitely worth it. I feel blessed to be a part of it and I think everyone deserves a chance to take advantage of this opportunity. I wish more students knew about it.

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The Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council is for students who attend either a public or private school in Akron grades 9–12 who want to learn leadership skills, organizational skills, public speaking skills, meet and work with fellow teens in a diverse inclusive environment, and promote positive teen behavior through community service. Students meet monthly and receive community service hours for each meeting and event attended. If you or someone you know are interested in joining the MYLC you can check out http://www.mylcakron.org/ for more information or contact the program coordinator, Myra Snipes. She can be reached at (330) 375–2704 or via email at MSnipes@akronohio.gov. The Program is always accepting applications and there are no minimum requirements to participate in volunteer opportunities or to attend MYLC meetings for students in other extracurricular activities. Those who volunteer at least 12 hours in MYLC are eligible in their senior year to apply for a paid internship.

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