Children’s Week 2013: Teen Leaders take on Tallahassee

Decked out in their bright green BrdsNBz shirts, the Coalition’s Teen Leaders traveled to Tallahassee along with Healthy Start staff and board members on April 9 for Children’s Week.

The two teens, Jada and Jheri, attended a Teen Town Hall in the morning and a teen advocacy workshop afternoon. The sisters participated in the Peer Health Advocates program and were participants in the pilot 4Me Teen Health Project education series and Teen Leadership Council (Victory Pointe, November 2011).

The Florida Youth Commission’s “Teens Only” Town Hall Meeting provided a forum and voice for students from across the state to work together with Florida’s Children and Youth Cabinet to address important issues relating to children’s services. The advocacy workshop, created by Florida YouthSHINE, provided teens with information and tools to make a difference in their community.

While the teens participated in the adolescent events, Healthy Start Board Member Joy Burgess visited with legislators, while Board Chair Dr. Stephen Baker took a group of political science students from Jacksonville University to the Capitol, meeting with members of the House and Senate and teaching students about the legislative process firsthand.

Children’s Week, held during legislative session each year, brings together thousands of children, parents, advocates, community leaders and policy makers from throughout the state to participate in information sharing, educational activities, and to advocate on behalf of children.