Sterling Heights

Youth group launches a 'Day in the Life' series to connect teens with civic leaders

A youth advisory board in Sterling Heights has launched a "Day in the Life" series, with the goal to connect teenagers with civic leadership and local government in their community. 

The Sterling Heights Youth Advisory Board kicked off the series last month, with the first virtual connection on Feb. 9 featuring the Sterling Heights mayor, Michael Taylor. Taylor joined 20 participants in a live Zoom session to talk about his role as mayor, as well as take questions and conduct a virtual tour of the city's community center.

Rohit Ray was one of the organizing committee members and said he learned a lot from the initial session. The 17-year-old Stevenson High School and Utica Center for Mathematics, Science, and Technology student said it is "imperative for young people to be aware of municipal government" to make necessary changes.

"The future generations of Sterling Heights need to know how our city government functions so they can lead the city in the future and improve their world," Ray said. "The single biggest challenge facing our city is aging infrastructure, and we will inherit and have to solve these current issues."

Organizers said the series, aimed at 12- to 18-year-olds, will feature other city officials in the coming months, to encourage youth participation in the city's direction.

"I was excited for the opportunity to sit down with a group of high school students and hear the types of questions they have regarding the city of Sterling Heights,” said Taylor.

“I was able to gain a better understanding of what topics are important to them, which is critical because Sterling Heights strives to be an inclusive community to all, and that includes our community’s youth," he said. "Keeping their thoughts, opinions, wants and needs in mind as part of the larger discussion makes sure that they not only have a voice, but that it is heard.”
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Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at