Three Students Represent MSD Wayne on Mayor’s Youth Leadership Council

Two students from Ben Davis University High School (BDU) and one from Ben Davis High School are serving as advisors to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett this year.

The three are part of Mayor Hogsett’s Youth Leadership Council. The council advises the mayor and city government on issues that impact youth and helps shape strategies to improve the community.

Steve Akinterinwa and Adriyanna Staten represent BDU on the council. Amina Dalal represents Ben Davis High School.

Adriyanna says she was drawn to the council “to help people understand that youth voices are just as powerful as adults’ voices.” Amina says the council interested her “because I was excited by the opportunity to have access to the policy makers that dictate the daily functions of our city.” Steve says he enjoys “being able to work together with my peers to change our community for the better.”

The council meets once a month. It discusses a range of topics, including police relations, mental health, and education.

“When we start a topic, we begin with a panel of experts that educate us on the issue,” says Amina. “Then we follow up by conducting listening sessions and discussing whatever comes up. Within a few meetings, we put together some sort of action plan or suggestion for the mayor.”

All of MSD Wayne’s representatives on the mayor’s council say they envision themselves being involved in their communities in the future, even if that doesn’t mean holding a formal civic leadership title.

“I will go away to college, but I do plan on coming back to give back to my community,” says Adriyanna. “If giving back to my community means becoming a civic leader, then I am all for it.”

Steve says, “Being a civic leader in my community may be an option for me in the future.”

“I don’t have any plans to pursue a career in politics, but for me, being engaged in civic issues will always be a part of my life,” Amina says. “I hope that however that manifests in my future, I can be a leader for others.”