Councilwoman Laura Pastor’s Engagement Study Highlights Solutions to Connect Teens, Young Adults to Community, Higher Education and EmploymentCouncilwoman Laura Pastor’s Engagement Study Highlights Solutions to Connect Teens, Young Adults to Community, Higher Education and Employment<div class="ExternalClassB8009CB487F54C099F288A6667D9E104"><div>The <a href="/district4site/Documents/Engagement%20Report%20Final.pdf">Youth Engagement Study</a> released today by Councilwoman Laura Pastor shows that a large percentage of Phoenix youth feel disconnected from their community and lack resources and activities to develop vital connections. The report suggests that a new investment in engagement-focused activities for Phoenix youth is necessary.<br><br>“Young people who feel connected to their communities are more likely to pursue higher education, job opportunities and self-development, and our study shows Phoenix faces real challenges,” said Councilwoman Pastor, who chairs the City Council's Parks, Arts, Transparency and Education subcommittee. “But we also identified concrete tools and resources that can help to build these connections and prepare youth for successful adult lives.”<br><br>Based on the findings in the report, a Youth Engagement Summit, and feedback gained from involving youth in the budget hearing process, Councilwoman Pastor worked with City Manager Ed Zuercher to include funding to reinstate and maintain youth programs and services in his 2017 budget proposal such as: <br><br></div><div>·<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>$200,000 for disengaged youth programming</div><div>·<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>$50,000 of library funding for children and teen programming</div><div>·<span class="Apple-tab-span" style="white-space:pre;"> </span>$60,000 in arts grants</div><div><br>The City Council approved the <a href="/cityclerksite/City%20Council%20Meeting%20Files/051716%20policy%20agenda.pdf">fiscal year 2016/17 budget​</a> with these items on May 17 setting the stage for final approval later this spring. <br><br>Councilwoman Pastor and Councilman Daniel Valenzuela co-hosted the first-ever, youth-oriented Community Budget Hearing where more than 50 youth spoke on issues they were concerned about, from recreational programs to fair voting access, and gained experience in the budget process.<br><br>Prior to the hearing, Councilwoman Pastor and Vice Mayor Kate Gallego convened a citywide Youth Engagement Summit in March to motivate more than 150 high school-aged youth to engage in their community and educate them on the tools and resources available for young people to tap into for college and career readiness, life skills training, and active civic involvement. <br><br>Nationally, one in seven young adults between the ages of 16-24 does not work or attend school according to Measure of America (2012). Phoenix currently leads the nation in disconnected youth, with more than 45,000 teens and young adults (one in five) neither working nor in school. </div></div>5/18/2016 7:00:00 PMDavid Urbinato602-495-5405