Youth Advisory Board
Belchertown Youth Advisory Board
Youth Advisory Board (YAB)
The Youth Advisory Board serves as a youth-led leadership team. The YAB members collaborate with the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office on issues relevant to youth in Hampshire and Franklin County and Athol. The Director of Community Outreach and Education from the DA’s office provides support and guidance to the members as well as the contact person for the schools and guardians of the youth. The Board aims to spread general awareness about the needs and challenges of the youth, and pressing issues affecting young people resulting in a positive change throughout the community.
The YAB is comprised of students in high school who are interested in working to improve the lives of young people in the community by discussing issues of concern and working to provide solutions. The Board generates meaningful and creative ideas that tap into the needs of youth. This is an opportunity for youth to express themselves within a peer environment and put forth unique ideas that lead to taking action.
The Board meets monthly during the school day at their schools. The most recent Board project was training elementary school children on how to safely navigate the Internet. This project was funded by a grant from the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program. The members of the Board are trained in the NetSmartz Internet Safety Mentoring Program. The mentoring program pairs high school students with their local elementary schools to teach basic internet safety to first and second grade students. Last year the NetSmartz program was well received by the elementary schools.
For more information, contact Jana McClure at (413) 586-9225 ext. 135