ELIZABETH, NJ - Elizabeth students were recently given the opportunity to observe municipal business as part of the 65th Annual Youth in Government Day. This year’s event was chaired by Councilwoman-At-Large Patricia Perkins-Auguste. 

“Each year, this unique opportunity provides a forum for some of Elizabeth’s most talented students to join City officials and participate in an exciting dialogue and exchange of ideas, resulting in a wonderful learning experience for all,” said Mayor J. Christian Bollwage. “It is inspiring to see the students’ eagerness to learn about City Government and how well they perform in their assumed roles of City officials.” 

Sponsored by Elizabeth’s City Council, this year’s Youth in Government Day included young people from Elizabeth’s public and parochial high schools. Upon arrival, students gathered in Council Chambers and were assigned to officials. Following introductions, the young people spent a portion of the morning learning job responsibilities from their advisors. 

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The students took an external tour of the city for a first-hand view of the economic development and new initiatives that are occurring. At noon, they gathered for a luncheon at Dolce Restaurant on South Broad Street in Elizabeth. 

As a part of the day’s events, Mayor J. Christian Bollwage presented the annual Mayor’s Youth of the Year Award to Elisabeth Point Du Jour, a senior at Alexander Hamilton Preparatory Academy. Since its inception 54 years ago, the Youth of the Year Award has recognized students for school leadership and community service. 

Point Du Jour was chosen to receive this award for demonstrating a high degree of integrity, responsibility, and ambition. She has proven excellent scholastic accomplishments by maintaining a 4.25-grade point average and is ranked in the top 5% of her graduating class. Elisabeth’s family migrated to the United States from Haiti in 2007 and since then, her motivation to succeed was unprecedented. During her high school career, she has received 10 Principal Honor Roll Excellence awards and 4 Superintendent Excellence Awards. She was a member of the National Society, WE Club, Art Club, AVID Leadership and was Vice President of Student Government. Outside of school, she volunteers for Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Venetian Care, and Rehabilitation Center and Amber Court of Elizabeth. Elisabeth would like to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field of medicine and entrepreneurship. 

A committee of representative members of the community is assigned the task of selecting one student from the list of names placed in nomination by the principals of the public, private and parochial high schools in Elizabeth. This year’s members included: Jennifer Cedeno, Ed.D., Assistant Superintendent; Reverend George Britt, Mt. Teman AME Church; Phyllis Reich, City of Elizabeth Planning & Community Development and Reverend Joseph Adair, City of Elizabeth Relocation. 

The activity-filled Youth in Government Day concluded with an afternoon City Council meeting, where the students served as representatives for their assigned City Officials. Each year the Weekly City Council meeting is changed from its usual 7:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. meeting time in order to accommodate the student officials. At the end of the day, the students were presented with certificates of merit for their professionalism and performance throughout the event. 

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