BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD—Baltimore County Student Councils, during its February general assembly meeting, voted to form an officially recognized Baltimore County Junior Councils organization for middle school students.
Elections will be held virtually in April to select the Junior Councils officer team.
“The middle school involvement within the Baltimore County Student Councils has grown exponentially over the past few years,” said Claire Cabral, BCSC vice president and a Grade 9 student at Hereford High School. “As an organization, BCSC wanted to expand the opportunities that middle school students could receive in order to grow their influence and leadership within the county. BCPS needs the newly-established Baltimore County Junior Councils to ensure the middle school voice is heard and that all students are given opportunities most beneficial to them. BCJC will encourage growth in leadership, teamwork, and communication in these students, which in turn leads to more confident and prepared leaders throughout the county!”
The initiative has been in the works for two years, according to Nora Murray, the BCPS program specialist who oversees student leadership programs. The process was slowed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asked about future plans for Baltimore County Junior Councils, Samantha Warfel, BCSC president and a Grade 10 student at Hereford High, said, “In the immediate years to come, I envision BCJC working closely with BCSC’s leadership to establish themselves and work to develop their own visions of the trajectory of BCJC. I think it’s important that while BCSC’s mentorship will be integral in the early years of BCJC’s inception, we recognize that it is our duty to empower and give advice but not to make decisions.
“This is the middle school students’ group, and strides will come when we listen and uplift. In the long term, I am confident that BCJC will become fully functional and resemble the composition of BCSC, hosting general assembly meetings, executive board meetings, and forums for students to attend,” Warfel said. “But I do hope that BCSC and BCJC remain closely knit. When I was a middle school student, it was the mentorship of many high schoolers in BCSC that welcomed me to this group and made me feel seen and heard.”