15 Jan Student Council Visits City Hall
The children and teens on the ANDRUS Residential Student Council had the opportunity to visit Yonkers City Hall. We were invited by The Commissioner of the Department of Public Works & Yonkers Democratic Party Chairman, Tom Meier Sr. following an invitation and meeting which we extended to Commissioner Meier to visit us on our campus. The Commissioner was so pleased to meet with a group of young people who were intent on giving back to their community and ensuring that we are all doing our part to protect the planet. By the end of his visit with us, he had committed to providing information and resources to assist the Residential Student Council as they embark on the creation of an ongoing recycling initiative on our campus focused on the three R’s- Reduce, Reuse, & Recycle.
During our time at City Hall, Commissioner Meier arranged for a special presentation on the importance of Recycling and how to initiate a school Recycling Program. The children and teens on the council demonstrated their curiosity, creative ideas, and passion for protecting the environment and animals which become negatively impacted by pollution. Our residents even brainstormed ways to make recycling fun such as a “who can recycling the most” contest between cottages and arts and crafts activities with used water bottles. We then had the opportunity to tour City Hall, from the City Council Chambers, to the ceremonial court room, to the TV station, and more.
The members of the Residential Student Council were ready to hit the streets and recycle with their new reusable City Hall tote bags however there was a surprise in store for us! We were invited into the meeting room of Mayor Spano for a 30 minute meeting where our youth on the council had the opportunity to ask the full range of questions from, “do you like chocolate?” to “what was the hardest decision you ever had to make as Mayor.” The Mayor was so pleased with our group that he awarded each child with a ceremonial “Office of the Mayor” pin and a certificate which read:
“As Mayor of the City of Yonkers, I am pleased to welcome you to Yonkers City Hall as you tour our historic building. Your sense of community spirit is greatly appreciated by all the residents of our City and we hope that your visit was enjoyable and productive. We also wish to congratulate you on your election to your school’s student council.”
It is special moments like this which foster growth, change, and empowerment in the youth we serve and which teach them that the impact they can have on others, on our planet, and on themselves- can be transcendent.