Taskforce on Student Engagement

Timothy Hwang, Montgomery County SMOB

History and Background

Throughout the county, there is a prevailing idea that students are viewed as liabilities. The more students we have, the larger the strain on resources. On February 3, the Montgomery County Council held its very first Youth Town Hall to speak to youth about the issues they have in their communities. After the meeting, I spoke with several non-profit leaders who were interested in finding some common ground to work together in these hard economic times to really utilize and harness the power of students to target some of the most pressing issues in our county.


Core Values

Mission: To help solve some of the County’s most pressing issues through student engagement and to get students involved in every aspect of the county through budget-neutral and innovative methods. Community service, volunteerism, and student engagement will be the core values of the taskforce. Vision: This county will change it’s perspective of students as liabilities to assets. Completely student-run action plans will be made to combat some of the most pressing issues in our county. Focus Areas (6):
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Political Efficacy Crime/Gangs/Drugs Mentoring/Academics Poverty/Hunger/Youth Entrepreneurship Healthcare/Teen Pregnancy/Mental Health Environment

Structure and Stakeholders

Overall the Taskforce is broad and all encompassing but is held together by one core belief. There will be six committees under the Taskforce based on the 6 focus areas - co-chaired by the Student Member of the Board and one other active student. Stakeholders will consist of non-profits, community groups, community leaders, parents, students leaders, club leaders, government leaders, administrators - anyone who is seeking to place input into the taskforce in their respective committee and can mobilize students to get the job done.

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Timeline
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Stakeholder Recruiting (February 2010 - March 2010) Taskforce Stakeholder Interest Meeting (March 2010) Committee Meetings (March 2010 – May 2010) Action Plan Meetings (May 2010 - June 2010) Taskforce Stakeholder Meeting (June 2010) Report for Staff (July 2010) Preparation and Collaboration based on Action Plans (July 2010 – August 2010) Implementation (FY 2010-2011) 4 Steps
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1. Goals 2. Ideas for solutions via student engagement 3. Methods of Collaboration 4. Implementation (Action Plan)

Examples

Political Efficacy
 Goal: Raise political efficacy among Youth; Register 6,000 high

school seniors to vote in Montgomery County  Stakeholders: Staff, Community, County Government, Model UN Clubs, Young Democrats Clubs, Young Republicans Clubs, Young Independents Clubs, Debate Teams, JSA Clubs, MCR, etc.

Mentoring/Academics
 Goal: Make a significant impact on students academic achievement

through student engagement  Stakeholders: Staff, Community, MCPS, Mentoring non-profits, National Honors Societies, Student Governments, Tutoring Clubs, etc.