In partnership with Hamilton Southeastern Schools and Eman Schools, the Mayor’s Youth Academy (MYA) offers the unique opportunity for junior and senior high school students to build community awareness, receive hands-on learning opportunities, and explore careers in the public sector. Students meet monthly with City staff and learn from community leaders and professionals in city government, as well as not-for-profit organizations and social services that exist beyond the walls of City Hall.
I sat down with Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate and former Mayor’s Youth Academy student, Eric Bedrosian to learn more about the program and what he’s learned.
For Eric, the decision to apply to the program was easy. “I knew a lot of people who completed the program in the past, and they always had good things to say about it. I always knew I wanted to be involved in it.” He was particularly interested in learning about the decision making and planning process local governments go through to create solutions.
Eric praised the program for the variety of professional experiences it offered him and his peers. He enjoyed that members of MYA got to see every part of Fishers, from the Parks Department to the Department of Public Works. The students took field trips to several facilities the city works at, including the Wastewater Treatment Plant, the Hamilton County Training Center where they learned about public safety, and the Fishers Maker Playground.
Additionally, Eric felt that meeting Fishers staff was impactful. “Getting to meet the city’s employees and hear their stories about how they got involved in local government was interesting.”
One of Eric’s favorite parts of MYA was the policy project. During every field trip the group takes, students get thirty minutes to prepare and research potential solutions to policy questions the city is facing. Eric noted that these projects were especially beneficial to his professional growth. He particularly enjoyed his group’s presentation on Homeowner Associations and finding different ways all Fishers residents can have an equal say in housing matters.
Eric is grateful for the opportunities MYA has given him to build community awareness through hands-on learning experiences and feels that his time with the program has prepared him for his college career. This fall, Eric will attend Butler University to study Marketing and Insurance Risk Management. He’s looking forward to social media marketing internships locally or nationally and is hoping to one day start a business with some of his friends from MYA.
Ally Marshall is a previous Public Relations and Community Engagement intern for the City of Fishers. She was born in Indianapolis and moved to Fishers in 2010. She will be graduating from Indiana University with degrees in Anthropology & Theatre, a minor in Arts Management, and will also be an alumni of the Alpha Xi Delta sorority. When Ally isn’t at City Hall or studying, she loves to watch movies, listen to music, spend time with her family and her crazy dogs, and try new international restaurants around town (her favorite is Bento Cafe)! She is so excited to be back in Fishers and work alongside such an innovative and vibrant city. You can follow Ally on Instagram or LinkedIn.