Mike Reyes has been appointed to the Vermont Children and Family Council for Prevention Programs. The 21-member council’s mission is to advocate for and promote healthy children, families, and communities, and to eradicate child abuse, delinquency, and other forms of violence. Mike is a senior business administration major at College of St. Joseph.

“It’s exciting. I have a passion for these sorts of things,” Mike said. “Basically, we are a group of advocates. We voice our opinions and try to create positive changes in the community.”

The council meets monthly, with members giving updates on the work they have accomplished since the previous meeting. Mikes first order of business has been to reach out to the Vermont Youth Development Committee to try to increase collaboration.

Mike said it is important to get more youth involved in working with others who are transitioning out of the foster care or juvenile system.

“It is important because they have been through it and they have seen how it works,” Mike said.

A majority of the work Mike has put in has been to educate himself on the council and the issues it works on.

“I’m learning as I’m going. It’s new to me. The goals of the council aren’t new to me, but the structures of the organizations are,” Mike said.

Mike also recently attended a webinar about private to public partnership to raise juvenile justice funds. He said there were a lot of good ideas on how to raise and allocate funds.

“It’s an area that needs funding. These funds shouldn’t be cut,” Mike said. “Juvenile justice is worth investing in.”

The State Advisory Group sent Mike as a representative to the 2013 Youth Summit: Empowering Young Leaders for Juvenile Justice Reform in August in Washington, D.C. The goal of the summit was to educate and cultivate juvenile justice advocates.

The CFCPP is the Vermont State Advisory Group (SAG) as required by the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act. The Council is a 21-member advisory group appointed by the governor with consent of the Vermont Senate. Members include private individuals, state agency personnel, representatives of private social services agencies, and youth. The Council was begun by the Vermont Legislature in 1986.