September MyCom E-news


 MyCom: My Commitment, My Community

 A public-private partnership dedicated to connecting youth to caring adults and positive options in a safe environment.




MyCom's goal is to inspire and prepare youth to be productive citizens and community assets -- what better time to put that in action than a presidential election year? 


New voters will share their voice, electing representatives who will make choices about policies that affect children, teens, and families. In this issue, MyCom encourages new and established voters to prepare for the November 6 election, and to get involved in their community through MyCom's advocacy and education resource: the Youth Talk Community Briefing (register instantly for the next Youth Talk on Sept. 25).


Long-time leader, first-time voter 
She will celebrate her 18th birthday, and step into the polls to cast her first vote about 48 hours later. Rolanda has years of experience serving her community as a MyCom youth leader. Now, with
Rolanda, first-time voter
Rolanda will turn 18 two days before the general election, and already has her voter registration card in hand
encouragement from her family and other adults, she is prepared to step into the role of first-time voter. 

"At first, I didn't even want to vote," Rolanda says. "But then my mom sat me down and said, 'You have to vote.'" She was convinced by her mother's reasons: "She said it's my right, and why waste it? Make my opinions matter."

She registered to vote online, received her voting card, and is now checking with her high school to make sure she will be able to vote on school grounds. She is most concerned about economic issues, because of her work within struggling communities; education issues, as a student preparing for college; and taxes, since, as she notes, turning 18 doesn't just mean getting to cast a vote, it means taking on responsibilities that could "hurt my pockets."

Though many of her friends will not turn 18 in time to vote for the November 6, 2012, general election, she is still encouraging them to think about their role in the community. "I think everyone should have a voice and it should be heard no matter what," she says. "If you want this country to run the way you want it, get up and vote. Don't sit and watch it."

Rolanda has served with the MyCom youth council in Slavic Village, which she credits with "getting us prepared for the world," and is active with the Boys & Girls Clubs

Youth Talk gains popularity as it prepares for September program.

The MyCom Youth Talk Community Briefing has quickly become one of MyCom's most popular programs for community engagement on the issues impacting our youth. The Youth Talk series launched in October 2011; in 2012, an average of more than 60 people registered for its three events. 

The programs are hosted by Voices for Ohio's Children with the goal of providing information and creating an opportunity for conversation among professionals in youth development, parents, and community representatives regarding topics vital to the health and well-being of children.

September Youth Talk
Join professionals, parents and other caring adults at the September Youth Talk event.
"Our attendees value the information and expertise that is shared on topics related to youth and adolescents," states Amy Swanson, CEO of Voices for Ohio's Children. "They also enjoy the opportunity to network and share information with other people working with young people in the community."

Programs have included discussions on adolescent health with Dr. Andrew Garner from University Hospitals, a forum on education featuring Eric Gordon, CEO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, as well as events on bullying, and local, state, and federal advocacy for youth.

Youth Talk briefings are held in a variety of venues in MyCom communities. Past events have been held at Riverside Park Community Center, Fatima Family Center, and Friendly Inn Settlement House.

"We hold the Youth Talk series in different communities so that we can engage the broadest representation in the entire MyCom footprint," states Swanson. "In addition, we like to showcase the work being done in each of these communities."

The next Youth Talk Community Briefing will be held on Tuesday, September 25, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, at the Parma Community General Hospital Health Education Center, 7300 State Road in Parma.

The event will feature updates on state legislation impacting education, details on the upcoming national election, ways to connect health benefits for young people and families, and youth employment goals in our local healthcare systems.

The event is free, but registration is required. Register online or call Laura Schaefer of the Family & Children First Council at 216-443-5098.

MyCom Quick Connects


Youth & Parents:


After-school Programs for Any Age: Call Starting Point at 216-575-0061


Youth Leadership Teams (ages 13-19): Call Partnership for a Safer Cleveland at 216-523-1128 or download flyer.


Youth Work Experience: Visit Youth Opportunities Unlimited.


Business & Community Professionals:
Access to Professional Development and Free Referrals for Youth Programs: Register your program in the MyCom Positive Activities database.
Build Our Future Workforce: Register your business.
Networking: Meet people from other sectors of your community by joining a neighborhood team. Call Neighborhood Leadership Institute at 216-812-8700.

2012 Election Calendar

October 9
Deadline for voter registration for general election (30 days before the election)

November 3
Applications by mail for absentee ballots must be received by board of elections

November 6
General Election Day Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

To get involved:
  • Register to vote
  • Know your candidates --
  • Share good information about children's issues
  • Invite candidates to see children's programs in action
  • Ask candidates questions and seek answers with specific policy solutions
  • Stay active and informed about children's issues in your community
Information provided by the 2012 electoral advocacy kit offered through Voices for Ohio's Children. 

Want more voting info? Visit the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections online

Calling all 17 and 18 year olds! 
Read this!
If you are nearing high-school graduation, or know a young person who is, read this Grads Vote message from Jon Husted, Ohio Secretary of State, to learn about voter eligibility and registration for youth. 

Save the Date!
MyCom Annual Meeting
December 7, 2012
Breakfast Event
Windows on the River


  Amy Swanson
Congratulations, Amy!
After 10 years with Voices for Ohio's Children, Amy Swanson has accepted the position of Director of Marketing, Advocacy and Member Experience at UnitedHealth Group. She will continue as CEO of Voices through September, and then make the transition.
Join us in wishing her well!



MyCom: My Commitment, My Community

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