WABA’s Vision Zero Youth Leadership Institute
We are thrilled to announce the hiring of four youth advocates from Prince George’s County, to participate in WABA’s first ever Vision Zero Youth Leadership Institute!
Throughout the institute, the four hired youth leaders will learn about transportation issues in Prince George’s County, develop a community engagement plan to learn from community leaders, develop an advocacy plan to advocate for Vision Zero in Prince George’s County, all culminating in a Youth Vision Zero Town Hall to take place in June 2024. Additionally, the youth will take part in professional development to become Vision Zero leaders in their communities.
And now, please meet the team! (From left to right)
My name is Hazel Hayashi, I’m 17, and I live in Hyattsville, MD. I attend Eleanor Roosevelt High School where I am the President of the National Honor Society, Chief of Staff of the Class of ‘24 Board, and Co-Founder and Co-President of the School Beautification Club. Outside of school and work I love to make art, crochet, hike, and bike. I am passionate about transportation safety and equity because I believe that freedom of movement is a basic right. Everyone should be able to travel around the area where they live with ease and safety. At this institute, my goal is to work toward a more sustainable and equitable future for Prince George’s County.
My name is Omokorede Jemmott and I am a senior at Eleanor Roosevelt High School. I am a member of my school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter and train in ballet, modern, and jazz dance. Cycling has always been a hobby of mine and my family’s which made me passionate about the Vision Zero initiative. I hope to make transportation in Prince George’s County safer and more sustainable by decreasing dependency on cars, making walking and cycling safer, and making public transportation more accessible and efficient. In my free time I like watching movies, going to concerts, and baking for my friends and family.
My name is Guillermo Flores, I am a 17 year old male who lives in Adelphi in PG county and I attend High Point High School. I am a member of multiple school clubs such as Peer Forward, Student Ambassadors and the Future Farmers of America (FFA), and help set up events at school, whether it be school club events like NHS events or entire school events. I am currently the secretary of the FFA Club, and I have held other prior roles such as organizing teams to set up school events. I am passionate about Vision Zero because I see one goal with this institute, to save pedestrians and make Prince George’s a safer place. I have recently learned that Prince George’s county has the highest deaths via vehicles in the entire state of Maryland. As someone who has lived in Prince George’s County my whole life this shocks me to hear, and as a part of the Vision Zero leadership institute, I and the whole team want to reduce that number and make the streets safer for pedestrians in Prince George’s County.
My name is Roxy Adeleke-Wales and I’m a junior at Bowie High School. I am co-president of my schools Debate Club and on the Leadership Board for my schools Drama Club. My passions about Vision Zero stem from car accidents around my school area which were a result of poor infrastructure. Prince George’s is a county that’s always developing which means construction, which then means traffic. This has caused driving short and long distances to be much more of a hassle than it needs to be and can also cause road rage which leads to more and more accidents. My main goal for the institute is promoting walking and biking as opposed to car driving due to the impact it has on the environment. Some of my favorite activities/hobbies include singing, piano, musical theater (mainly Little Shop of Horrors), research, and spreading awareness, especially for those who don’t have the opportunity to themselves.
Please be on the lookout for upcoming projects and updates! Here are some highlights the team is looking forward to:
- Meeting with Kenniss Henry, November 1st, to learn more about bike and pedestrian safety advocacy in Prince George’s County
- Meeting with Renee Wasco, Community Developer, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS department, to learn more about school safety issues and transportation issues related to youth
- Tour of University of Maryland, College Park, Urban Studies and Planning Program, as well as the National Center for Smart Growth Research and Education department
Thanks for reading!
Prince George’s County Youth Organizer