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Topic Areas for NYS Governor’s Youth Council

The NYS Governor’s Youth Council creates opportunities for youth to participate in regional and state level activities to better inform State government on issues and challenges in the following topic areas:

1.        Education and Careers

A process of acquiring knowledge through study or imparting the knowledge by ways of instruction, workforce, vocational training or career development. Education can also mean teaching moral values, positive thinking, attitude of helping, attitude of giving to society and ethical to bring changes in society.

2.        Civic Engagement

Defined as working to make a difference in the civic life of one's community. It also involves developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values, and motivation to make that difference. Examples include cleaning up a neighborhood park, volunteering in your school, or organizing a community event.

3.        Women and Girls

Gender equality is a human right, but our world faces a persistent gap in access to opportunities and decision-making power for women and men. Globally, women have fewer opportunities for economic participation than men, less access to basic and higher education, greater health and safety risks, and less political representation. Giving women and girls opportunities to reach their full potential is critical not only for attaining gender equality, but also increasing a woman's sense of self-worth, her decision-making power, her access to opportunities and resources, her power and control over her own life inside and outside the home, and her ability to effect change.

4.        Juvenile Justice

Juvenile justice is the area of criminal law applicable to persons not old enough to be held responsible for criminal acts. Juvenile law is mainly governed by state law and most states have enacted a juvenile code. When children commit crimes, whether it's shoplifting or assault and battery, their cases are typically heard in juvenile court, where the emphasis is on counseling and rehabilitation versus hard time. The premise is that juveniles still have a lot of time to mature and become functioning members of society, along with concerns that adult prisons are no place for a minor.

5.        Environmental Justice

Deals explicitly with the distribution of environmental benefits and the burdens people experience, at home, at work, or where they learn, play and spend leisure time. Environmental benefits include attractive and extensive greenspace, clean air and water, and investment in pollution abatement and landscape improvements. Environmental burdens include risks and hazards from industrial, transport-generated and municipal pollution. Environmental justice issues and examples include inadequate access to healthy food, inadequate transportation, air and water pollution, and unsafe homes.

6.        Youth Violence/Cyberbullying

Youth violence refers to violence that occurs among individuals aged 10–29 years who are unrelated and who may or may not know each other. It generally takes place outside of the home. It includes a range of acts from bullying and physical fighting, to more severe sexual and physical assault, to homicide. Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

7.        Sexual Assault and Harassment

Sexual Assault is an act in which a person intentionally sexually touches another person without that person's consent, or coerces or physically forces a person to engage in a sexual act against their will. Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment. Sexual harassment does not always have to be specifically about sexual behavior or directed at a specific person. For example, negative comments about women as a group may be a form of sexual harassment.