ABOVE PHOTO: The Girls’ T.R.A.C.K (GT)/Boys’ T.R.A.C.K (BT) and The Philadelphia Youth Leadership Council (PYLC) visit the PA State Capitol for a rare learning experience.
By Veronica Norris (Ms. V)
The Girls’ T.R.A.C.K (GT)/Boys’ T.R.A.C.K (BT) programs and the Philadelphia Youth Council Leadership (PYCL) worked hard over the past year and in turn, accomplished much. This year’s closing recognition ceremonies were held at the Hard Rock Café for the youths with perfect attendance records and strong academic achievements.
This group of students also participated in year-long workshops, conferences, college tours, volunteerism, after-school internships. In addition to the above, one of the highlights of the year was the PYCL Annual Youth Empowerment Conference in April.
Their hard work was rewarded with a trip to Six Flags in Maryland on June 26.
A Visit to Harrisburg
Another highlight of the dynamic youth program was a trip to the state’s capital at the invitation of State Rep. Joanna McClinton and Malika Rahman of the “Be A Great You” organization. Youths ranging from 12-18 enjoyed an excellent guided tour where they learned about the history, the phenomenal paintings on each wall and the architecture of the building.
It was also an honor to be seated in the House Chambers of the Pennsylvania Senate and House. In the Pennsylvania House Chamber, we witnessed the opening of the session with the House Speaker, beginning with prayer and the announcements. During one of the announcements they welcomed the Girls’/Boys’ T.R.A.C.K. and the PYCL of Philadelphia asking the organization to stand following a thunderous applause from everyone. I believe it was a good feeling for our young folks!
Before the tour, we all gathered in the Welcome Center and participated in games, asking questions and guessing the answers, lots of trivia, and learning a lot in the process. It was amazing to watch the youth take it all in.
Most importantly, the youth got to personally meet and talk with State Reps. Joanna E. McClinton, Malcolm Kenyatta, Morgan Cephas, James R. Roebuck, Jr., Jordan A. Harris and Senator Sharif Street, just to name a few.
All of those in attendance received the Pennsylvania Capitol booklet detailing everything they saw, confirming everything the tour guide spoke about and the honor of observing the hard work of the public officials.
Special thanks to the Department of Human Services, the administration, the coordinators, life coaches and especially our youth!