Brewster High School junior Franceska Drejaj will represent Putnam County on the New York State Governor’s Youth Council.
The Youth Council gives young people a voice on important issues, ensuring that the governor and other policymakers hear their opinions. Every county in New York State has a youth representative who works with other youth from surrounding counties.
Drejaj was overjoyed when she found out she had been chosen to represent Putnam County.
“I think it was the most rewarding feeling I’ve ever had,” she said. “To know that I was chosen to represent my county on a state level was, and still is, such a great honor. It’s an opportunity that few kids get, so I truly felt like the luckiest 16-year-old in the world.”
Every few months, the Youth Council is tasked with considering specific issues facing policymakers.
Normally, the proposals are presented in front of an audience, but, due to COVID restrictions, they currently record their proposal and send it to the state for approval and overview. Drejaj’s first meeting as part of the Youth Council took place over Zoom in late August.
“I’ve had a passion for politics and our governmental system since sixth grade, and it’s been what I wanted to pursue ever since,” Drejaj said. “This was an amazing opportunity for me to finally experience a taste of what I could be doing when I finish college and pursue my political dreams. I’m really looking forward to being an advocate for the youth of this county.”
Drejaj learned about the Council through the Putnam County Youth Court, a court diversion program in which volunteers hear the cases of first-time offenders between the ages of seven and 17. An official with the program told her about the Youth Council and recommended her for it.