Our Past Projects
WYC Positivity Nook
Two Westchester Youth Congress members worked to create the WYC Positivity Nook - a weekly supply of positive stories both locally and worldwide. Their goal is to put some positive news onto people's screens to distract people from all the negative news in the world.
Taking a some time each week to read a few positive stories, is something that all people need in the craziness of this world, and the WYC Positivity Nook helps accomplish
Community Walking Tour
September 30, 2021
Westchester Youth Congress members partnered with Our Streets Dobbs Ferry to hold a Community Walking Tour for Dobbs Ferry. Community walking Tours are designed to get people thinking, observing, and experiencing how the environment works for all users and discussing how to make it better for people of all ages and abilities.
On the tour, participants recorded their first-hand experiences of street conditions. A walking tour lets us identify walkability barriers and needed infrastructure improvements for future action, while also bringing together diverse community members.
On September 30th, we brought together residents, students, public servants and elected officials both on a town and county level, to share concerns and brainstorm solutions.
Our role in this project involved planning, inviting the elected officials (whom we already had connections with), as well as creating the promotional video to invite community stakeholders!
Get your Flu Shot.
In order to make getting your flu shot as accessible as possible, and to encourage everyone to get their flu vaccines, WYC members created a list of pharmacies that offer flu shots on a map of Westchester County. Get your flu shot if you haven't already! For more information reach out to us!
Vaccine Hesitancy Townhall
The Westchester Youth Congress held an informational Zoom meeting about the COVID-19 vaccines in partnership with #VaxUpWestchester initiative. We invited community members hesitant about taking the vaccine to join and ask their questions to medical experts.
Experts received and answered questions on the issues of long-term effects, schools, and faith. They also held a short presentation on how the vaccine works and its ingredients.
Big thank you to Dr. Carol Allen, Dr. Yong Sing da Silva, Dr. Lawrence Neshiwat, Dr. Maura D. Frank, and Dr. Anisha Mathur for contributing their expertise.
The Westchester Youth Congress partnered with the Builders Club from Edgemont High School, and the National Honors Society from Irvington High School to hold a end of school book drive for all for Westchester. People donated books (both gently used and new) to drop boxes at the high schools. WYC members also ran pickups for people who were unable to go to the high schools to donate their books. The books were donated to GreenDrop in White Plains and the Washingtonville Housing Alliance in Mamaroneck. Ultimately, we donated over 1000+ books!
Westchester Youth Congress members partnered with Our Streets Dobbs Ferry, Sustainable Dobbs, local neighborhoods and the Village of Dobbs Ferry Traffic Committee to transform low traffic local streets into "Play Streets".
Putting up barricades on the entrance of local streets, we enacted 3 hour long Street Closures transforming the streets into a place for the community with a "Block Party" vibe.
Neighborhood kids were able to come out for the first time since the pandemic started. It was an opportunity to socialize, play ball, bike and have fun with each other, in a COVID safe manner: Everyone wore masks and followed COVID safety practices! Community volunteers and WYC members also manned the barricades on the streets and kept track of participants for Contact Tracing.
With hundreds of participants, we got overwhelmingly positive feedback from both kids and parents at the event!
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Candidate Forum
The Westchester Youth Congress hosted a Candidate Forum for the Greenburgh Town Supervisor Race, with candidates Paul Feiner and Tasha Young.
This virtual event was live streamed to YouTube. If you missed the event, you can watch the video below!
View the questions we asked candidates (collected from viewers and publicly posted 3 days before the event.
Virtual Townhall on Community Issues.
Westchester Youth Congress members hosted a very successful virtual townhall for their community. Participants discussed three major issues in the community:
COVID (Food insecurity, effect on schools, etc)
Infrastructure (Traffic, Affordable Housing, Public Education Reform)
A major point of discussion was how Youth Leaders and create solutions to many of these problems. We hope to create solutions to the problems discussed in the coming months. If you or anyone you know has ideas for projects we can take on, or you want to partner with us, please click the more info button!
Our Most Recent Projects:
November 4, 2021 - Present
Westchester Youth Congress members have partnered with the Fairview Empowerment Group, an official volunteer committee from the Town of Greenburgh.
On November 4th we partnered with them to hold a Fairview Empower Forum: a forum dedicated to collecting feedback from Fairview residents to guide decisions that benefit the local community.
The goal: To promote local business while proving the community with its needs. We are currently looking at creating a Worker's Food Co-operative, an NPO, or an alternative means to provide access to high quality food while fostering the growth of local business.
To Fairview Residents: We want at least 300 responses to help guide us before we choose the path forward!
To High Schoolers Near and Around Fairview: We are looking for new members from this community to help drive this initiative forward! Please apply to become a member or contact us if you are interested!
Westchester Sustainability Forum
The Westchester Youth Congress held a virtual sustainability forum to bring together high profile Westchester government officials and prominent Westchester based climate organizations to collaborate and develop future sustainability initiatives.
The goal of the 90 minute forum was to provide officials and organizations at various levels to share their individual sustainability goals and initiatives, and then collaborate on future combined initiatives to make material improvements in the area.
The forum allowed different groups build strong new connections and partners for their initiatives - for organizations to get political support, and for officials to find organizations to help them deliver on their sustainability goals.
Attendees (Name - Organization/Title):
Anne Jaffe Holmes - Federated Conservationists of Westchester County
Caitlyn Carpenter - Sunrise Westchester
Claire Kokoska - Sustainable Westchester
Claudio Rau - Sunrise Westchester
Courtney Williams - Westchester Alliance for Sustainable Solutions, Safe Energy Rights Group
Edward W. Brancati - Village Manager of Mount Kisco
Eve Hundt - Bedford 2030
Francis Sheehan - Councilman on Greenburgh Town Board
George Latimer - Westchester County Executive
Jason Klein - Director of Conservation at Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation
Jenna Cain - Sunrise Westchester
Jessye Ejdelman - Co-Leader of Westchester CCL
Juliane Saary-Littman - IACPM
Kathleen O’Connor- Commissioner of Westchester County Parks Recreation and Conservation
Lindsay Hornstein - Sunrise Westchester
Marisa Rodriguez - Federated Conservationists of Westchester County
MaryJane Shimsky - Westchester County Board of Legislators
Patty Buchanan - CURE100, Croton100
Paul Feiner - Greenburgh Town Supervisor
Peter McCartt - Westchester County Director of Energy Conservation and Sustainability
Rasha Elwaki - White Plains HS Student
Sarah Smiley - Mothers Out Front
Yonkers YMCA's Women's History Month Panelist
The Yonker's YMCA's held a celebration of Women's History Month through inviting and celebrating female leaders from the local community.
The event strove to offer an opportunity for young teens to hear from girls and women of all ages and backgrounds about what this month means to them, and how they have made an impact in the world around them as women.
Westchester Youth Congress member, Samika Agarwal, was invited to be one of four panelists who spoke to teens on her experiences as a female leader, drawing on her experience with the Westchester Youth Congress. She spoke about the importance of youth activism, and endeavored to inspire a new generation of teen leaders.