Education and Youth Development Plan
Education is the root to providing a better life for everyone. I strongly believe in fully investing into our public schools system and in our youth. The city needs to step up to fill the gap in helping to provide a quality education for everyone.
Dear Everett Residents, Parents, Superintendent, Teachers, Administrators, School Committee and Students,
My name is Gerly Adrien. I am running to be a people-powered Mayor who prioritizes your needs first. I am introducing my initial Education and Youth Development plan this week. I am happy to host a youth forum where I will listen to youth suggestions on the plan. I welcome all feedback and suggestions. Please feel free to complete the survey: http://bit.ly/gerlyedu
Everett needs a bold mayor who will make Everett a thriving place for families by providing quality education options and access to safe recreation. We need to invest more funds into our schools. We need to change this.
The role of the City of Everett Mayor is to be a voting member on the School Committee, establish an amount of funding that can meet what the State requires as funding for the public schools, and partners with the Superintendent and School Committee to create a vision to help all youths in the city.
For the past years of lack of investment, Everett is not doing enough. Everett Public Schools are at the bottom of the rankings. We deserve more. I support Public Education and assure that we offer every child the opportunity to receive a quality education. Everett schools are part of the key to an overhaul in our economy. Studies show that education, and related education-based initiatives, can reduce crime rates, improve health, and improve better life outcomes for families.
I want to strengthen the community by inspiring youth, especially underserved youth, to become productive, engaged citizens by promoting global economic understanding, self-actualization, meaningful change, and community involvement. For me, education and youth development is the root of the path to opportunity for our young people. In 2019, one of my priorities was to start the Black History Month Essay Scholarship contest for youth by helping them to write about positive Black role models and provide compensation for the essay. To date, we have funded 14 scholarships for students. I genuinely believe in helping our young people be given opportunities to help understand more civic engagement and the importance of voting. Youth will always be an essential part of my administration.
Let us be honest. We need to invest more in our schools and young people. We need to invest in the actual development of enrichment programs, expand the use of technology, add options for vocational training, develop financial literacy training programs, and emphasize classes geared to promote cultural and civic engagement. With this, we could ensure that the next generation is better prepared than the generation before them. I want to assure youth and young adults access technology-based programs, before and after school, to better equip them to be an asset to the workforce. We must take the initiative to start effective mentoring programs, including recreation centers.
Let us do this together. Let us work to provide real solutions and equal opportunities for everyone, not the selected few. Let us not wait anymore. We cannot afford another four years of lack of investment.
I want to listen to you.
Equity and Excellence in Schools and Youth Development
I am fully committed to equity and excellence in our schools. We have not been able to provide Everett youth with the essential resources needed to offer quality education and opportunities outside of the classroom. With overcrowded classrooms, minimal support staff, lack of opportunities/development, and extreme homelessness on the rise amongst our youths, we need to assure all children receive the opportunity for quality education. As Mayor, I will make it a priority to invest in the youth of Everett. As a city, we can do better and deserve more.
More Funding for our Schools
The first step would be to be committed to fully investing in our schools, more than what the state requires us to do as the minimum. The state average for per-student funding is $16,583. Everett is well below that range. Everett is at $14,682. We need to commit to being over that to truly help our youth in their learning. Most importantly, we need to make critical investments into the infrastructure that holds our schools together: facilities and staff. Our schools need to be upgraded to meet the needs of today. We need to ensure that the teacher-to-student population is not high to ensure each child gets the attention they deserve. Every child deserves the attention they need. As Mayor, I want to support social and emotional growth, such as more programming, including music, arts, health, and technology. I want to continue to support more bilingual education and family partnerships. With the world changing and moving fast, we need to invest in stem, technology, and vocational opportunities.
Create the Children and Youth Fund
Our city budget should highlight our priorities. Under a people-powered administration, I will help to create a Children & Youth Fund. This fund would invest back into our youth by creating a fund that local students will vote on to decide what projects would help them most.
Creating Innovation Hubs
During the pandemic, virtual learning made it more challenging for students to progress through their school year. We need to acknowledge that the inequalities and inequities that existed before the pandemic have grown even more. I want to create areas and programming in the city where innovation and technology will allow parents and students to engage.
From daycare to college, making it more affordable
I want to partner with daycare providers in understanding how we can help them more and provide more affordable options for parents. As someone who graduated with $50k more in college debt, I understand what it means to go to college for better opportunities for my family. I will create the College Savings Program, a new innovative program where we will invest early into our children. I will host workshops on the importance of savings and early searches on not being in college debt. I want to work with local colleges and universities to invest and support the first two years of college with special conditions for anyone who graduates with a B average in their junior and senior year of high school. With my finance and grants experience, I would work with organizations and foundations to help fund this for every young person.
Transparency and Accountability to Families
In building public trust, the city needs to step up to fill the gap in helping to provide a quality education for everyone. I want to host bi-annual town halls with parents and guardians to see how we can improve the quality of the schools together.
Fully Fund Afterschool, Summer, and Year-Round Opportunities for our Youth.
We can provide hope to our youth through education and youth programs. We need more in Everett. For Youth Development, I am invested in establishing a substantive outline, mentoring, real life experiences and programming for Everett. We currently have no recreation center, not enough summer programs, and no enrichment programs in the city. Every young person who applies for a summer job opportunity under my administration will get one. Also, these opportunities will provide real value to their future and to learn more about financial literacy. We have missed a chance to help our youth with better opportunities to expose them to better opportunities that other cities provide that Everett is just not.
Example: The City of Malden has a youth center focused on youth. The City of Cambridge has a summer youth job program where they provide youth with real-life skills by working in actual city departments. The City of Somerville funds more than $3 million a year on year-round youth jobs, summer programming, afterschool, and development. Parents have to leave Everett to find better opportunities for their youth for development.
I know firsthand the importance of young people being given access to summer jobs with an opportunity to launch their professional careers. As a teen, I was given the privilege to serve in summer job opportunities and year-round youth jobs outside of Everett. I was a youth organizer at Teen Empowerment, where I helped create positive, impactful events for the youth of Somerville, and worked as a summer intern at the Somerville Community Corporation, where I learned firsthand the importance of affordable housing. I want every youth in Everett to have opportunities like this and not to be limited. I want to support organizations and expand the number of summer jobs we offer Everett teens. We need to fully fund afterschool programs for all students in Everett. As a person who attended Boys and Girls Club afterschool programs and other afterschool programs outside of Everett, we need more and better affordable options in our city. As Mayor, I would create a task force of educators, grassroots mentors, youth, and young adults, to implement a Youth Agenda that will improve the quality of life for every youth in Everett.
Partnering with our Superintendent, Administration, Teachers, Parents, Youths, School Committee, and Advocates for better outcomes
I truly support our Teachers and Administrators in the work they do. We need to first hear them out on how to improve the classrooms. I want to host bi-annual forums where I invite every Teacher and Administrator to hear out their concerns, feedback, and questions. You are the experts. I will welcome all opinions with an open mind at the School Committee meetings and be open to working with our Superintendent and School Committee on the vision of the city. I want our youth to have a say in the city. Teaching our youth about budgeting and allowing their input into where the funds should go would help stimulate their young minds. As a strong advocate for participatory budgeting, I propose allocating a portion of funds to each public school. The youths in the schools will have a say where they want funding to go.