Local solon visits Robinson Gardens teens
State Representative Sean Curran made a stop recently at Robinson Gardens apartments, where he urged teens to stay in school and pursue their career dreams.
Curran’s afternoon stop drew in a crowd with the Youth Group run by Youth Engagement Coordinator Jimmie Mitchell, who brings professional visitors on a weekly basis to help prepare teens for successful lives.
With Curran in the community room, teens learned the ins and outs of Massachusetts Statehouse life and got a pep talk on sticking with education and aiming for the kind of job that will bring personal fulfillment.
For the teens, it was time well spent.
“I liked it a lot,” said Stacey Sands, who is president of the youth group and, along with Mitchell, helps steer its mission and activities. “It was interesting hearing about how our government works, and how Mr. Curran got to be a state representative.”
While she is unlikely to pursue public office, she said Curran’s visit highlight the dedication one needs and the steps one would take to become an elected official at any level, especially the Massachusetts Statehouse, where he has served the Ninth Hampden District for the past 11 years.
Mitchell said he was thrilled to have Curran make a positive pitch for education and planning for the future. He said the upbeat presentation also turned out to be a civics lesson for many of the dozen or so regulars who he guides every weekday afternoon.
“The kids got a chance to meet someone in public office,” Mitchell noted. “They don’t often get a chance like that. Just hearing about the process and meeting someone who’s gone through it was a great experience.”
“The student residents at Robinson Gardens have a bright future ahead of them! It was terrific to meet a group of goal oriented, career minded, college bound high school students,” Curran said. “Jimmie Mitchell does a terrific job with this program.”
Other teens moved by the experience included 15-year-old Darius Lenoir, who is a student at Central High School.
“It was pretty interesting,” he said. “He told us, don’t worry about the money. Go after a job that you like and really want to do.”
James Scott, who is 14, said he found Curran to be smart, friendly and accessible.
“He let us ask him all kinds of questions. He told us we can start a job whenever we want, we don’t have to wait,” said Scott, who is planning on a career as a mechanic.
Jenashia Scott agreed that the meeting with Curran was educational and exciting.
“He was good. We learned a lot of things from him, about the Statehouse and how he got his job there.”
Curran is stepping down from the seat at the end of the year.