GREEN: Eleven Green teenagers have become members of the first class of student municipal representatives on six city boards, commissions and task forces.

Selected and sworn in this week by Mayor Gerard Neugebauer following 15-minute interviews, the teens are part of a new city program designed to encourage volunteerism and civic responsibility, while providing real-life experiences.

“We are excited to have these students represent their schools and their city this year as student municipal representatives,” said Valerie Wolford, the city’s communications manager who will oversee the students’ involvement. “These students get a front-row seat to witness the working of municipal government.

“We see their involvement as an opportunity for them to learn more about city government, while offering our boards, commissions and task forces a younger perspective.”

The students are nonvoting members but encouraged to share their opinions and perspectives. They were sworn in Tuesday night.

After the brief ceremony, Green resident and Walsh Jesuit High School sophomore Emily Alessia, the only student not attending Green High School, said she chose to apply “because I think it’s a great opportunity to get involved in the city I’ve always lived in.

“I plan to be a lawyer, so it’s a great opportunity to learn a little bit about government,” Alessia said.

She was named to the Planning and Zoning Commission with Green High junior Prashanth Ragunathan.

Green High senior Austin Elkins said, “I’ve always been interested in politics and plan on going to college to study political science and business and eventually run for city council myself.”

Elkins joins senior Dominic McClung on the Historic Preservation Commission.

Sophomore Darby Hurr joins the Design Review Board. Sophomores Bryan White and Emma Smith are serving on the Parks and Recreation Board.

Seniors Will Babbitt and Denton Cohen and sophomore Julia Tsarnas are assigned to the Drug Task Force.

Junior Amanda Salmons is serving on the Living Green Task Force.

George W. Davis can be reached at: mediaman@sssnet.com.