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City announces applications for SPARK Boston Council

Council will help create arts programming, policy for teens and young adults in Boston

Banner Staff

The Office of Mayor Martin Walsh announced that it is now accepting applications for the 2018-2019 SPARK Boston Council, a group of volunteers ages 20-34, charged with leading the city’s efforts to engage Boston’s young adult population.

“We’re proud to have the highest percent of young adults out of any major city in the country,” said Walsh. “The SPARK Boston Council gives us an opportunity to challenge young adults to become neighborhood leaders and will help us grow the city in a sustainable and positive way.”

Under the guidance of the SPARK Boston director, Amy Mahler, the SPARK Council will spend the year working on programming and projects on housing policy, economic development, equal pay, public art and neighborhood engagement. Council members also get the opportunity to work with the Mayor’s staff and other city leaders.

“Council members serve a multitude of roles such as being ambassadors of city programs, participating in focus groups for city staff or convening policy conversations and neighborhood celebrations,” said Mahler. “It’s a great way to be an active participant in Boston’s future as well as your own.”

Last year’s cohort was comprised of 38 Boston residents from neighborhoods across the city, chosen out of 180 applications. The group included entrepreneurs, designers, social workers, restaurant professionals, undergraduate and graduate students and community organizers.

Approximately a third of the 2017-2018 council were native Bostonians, while others grew up as far away as France, Cape Verde, India and Spain.

“SPARK Boston is an opportunity to give back to my community, develop professionally and expand my network,” said Emily Murphy of the 2017-2018 SPARK Boston Council.

Gabrielle Sims of the 2017-2018 SPARK Boston Council said, “Not only have I planned great events with others on the SPARK Council, but I have learned about new places in Boston and now have a newfound appreciation for the city.”

Past council projects include the launch of the neighborhood tour series, the continuation of the Chief Chat policy talk series and the Millennial Homeownership Open House.

Formerly called ONEin3, SPARK Boston has been connecting young adults to city leadership since 2004.

The submission deadline is July 16, 2018. For more information on the SPARK Boston program, please visit: http://www.boston.gov/spark/.

Mayor’s Press Office

Boston youth, City of Boston