Make the Road youth leader profiled as “Mayor of Teenagers”

Cheyanne Smith taken by Damon Winter / The New York Times

Damon Winter / The New York Times

Make the Road New York (MRNY)’s youth member, Cheyanne Smith, has been highlighted as the New York Times’ “Mayor of Teenagers” in their recent article featuring nine individuals who are affecting positive change in their communities. The New York Times reports:

“Cheyanne Smith stood in front of the City Council in August to say that New York City schools treated students like prisoners. When she was done, Christine C. Quinn, the Council speaker, took the microphone and said that maybe Ms. Smith, who was 16 at the time, should be the one running for office. Ms. Quinn later pulled her aside to ask if she wanted a recommendation for college.

This kind of recognition is not surprising for those who know Ms. Smith, a senior at the Bushwick School for Social Justice in Brooklyn who zigzags around the country to rallies and conferences advocating laws that prohibit racial profiling and that protect young people from being pushed into low-wage work or the criminal justice system. The giggly teenager is a youth leader at Make the Road New York, a nonprofit organization that works with low-income and immigrant populations. She makes pinkie vows with friends who promise to come out for a protest or to attend one of the spoken word events she organizes. If they come, she will walk them to the subway afterward…”

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