Mayor Ras Baraka answers questions about youth issues.

How do you personally get involved with youth in the city?
—Elizabeth, 54

Once a month, we hold a Leadership Academy where I personally meet with a group of young people to discuss a wide range of important issues, including what they can do to make a difference. I established the Youth Ambassadors and the Newark Youth Office in City Hall to have a place devoted to young people and to encourage their participation in the life of our city.

What is being done to improve youth unemployment?
—Tiffany, 23

We have expanded our summer youth jobs program to over 3,000 participants. The program is now a unique mixture of education, workforce development and public safety. It’s no longer about just a paycheck.  The program offers pathways to success through advanced academics, high quality placements that match personal interests, financial literacy, and college and career readiness.

What can the city do to help our young people turn away from crime and stay in school?
—Mary, 63

The Newark Street Academy was created to help our young people complete their high school education and gain employment.  The Academy gives participants an alternative to crime and connects them to their community through participation in neighborhood improvement initiatives.