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New position will advocate for youth

A new position developed by City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen will address issues facing young people in Kansas City. Cauthen appointed Thalia Cherry as youth advocate manager for the City Manager’s Office.

This new position will develop and cultivate relationships between all City departments and youth education and career development organizations such as Youthnet, Full Employment Council, YMCA, YWCA, all Kansas City public school districts, and the Kansas City Police Department.

“We want to foster leadership opportunities for the young people of Kansas City,” Cauthen said.

Cherry’s duties also will include:

    Planning special programs to address issues such as violence prevention, adolescent health, academic success, leadership development, anger control, and teen pregnancy.

    Working with community and youth servicing agencies to identify needs of Kansas City youth, and their families, and identifying and implementing solutions to meet these needs.

    Developing a clearinghouse of youth services and resource information for parents, youth and education providers to connect citizens in need with available resources.

    Developing and training adult volunteers dedicated to working with youth, to implement programs and initiatives.

“Thalia Cherry’s background in working with youth programs in the Parks and Recreation Department makes her the ideal person to lead this new initiative,” Cauthen said.

Cherry has served as program coordinator in the Parks and Recreation Department since October 2000. In that position she developed, supervised and administered youth activities funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Youth Opportunity grant. This grant focuses on providing underserved youth with the social and educational skills necessary to become productive young adults in the workforce.

Cherry has a bachelor’s degree in recreation therapy from Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan. She will begin her new duties Oct. 18.

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