Accompanied by City Councilwoman Susan K. Shepherd and Representative Dan Pabon, Mayor Hancock spent time mingling with the kids from Lake International School and Strive Prep and answering questions about his life as a middle schooler and his job as mayor of a major city.
When asked what the best part of being mayor is, he replied: “This – having contact with the people and the youth of this great city.”
In addition to learning more about Mi Casa’s out-of-school time programs, Mayor Hancock’s visit called attention to the 2A measure approved by voters in the 2012 election. With additional revenue, Denver is investing in services including afterschool programs, business incentives, child care assistance, parks and recreation, services for seniors, libraries, and much more.
Mi Casa will receive funding from the 2A measure in summer 2013 to offer expanded summer programs for middle and high school students that provide both enrichment opportunities and academic support programs that combat summer learning loss.
Mi Casa has operated school-based afterschool, evening and summer programs on the campus of Lake Middle School for the past 15 years. In 2012, Mi Casa launched the Neighborhood Center at North High School. Each year, Mi Casa serves over 800 youth in high-quality afterschool programs.
“The City of Denver is proud to partner with Mi Casa Resource Center to provide a safe, healthy place for you all to go afterschool,” Mayor Hancock told the kids. “We want you to have the support and opportunities you need to prepare for productive lives.”
Asked about his favorite subject in middle school, Mayor Hancock answered that he loved social studies and history. In fact, he advised the kids to pursue history and current events if they are interested in a career in politics or the public sector.
“If you want to become mayor one day, my advice is number one to stay in school and also read as many newspapers as you can to stay on top of current events because being a mayor is all about addressing current issues.”
Councilwoman Susan Shepherd, a former Mi Casa volunteer, suggested that Mayor Hancock visit the Mi Casa Neighborhood Center. Councilwoman Shepherd recounted to the students her volunteer project to get raised gardening beds built outside the Neighborhood Center.
“And I just heard you have some sunflowers and vegetables growing out there – that’s awesome!” She said.
Though many of the kids at the Lake Neighborhood Center hadn’t heard of Mayor Hancock prior to his visit, that didn’t stop them from becoming a bit star struck when the mayor walked through the door! The full visit could have easily been taken up by fist bumps, handshakes and high fives, which the Mayor doled out generously.
The youth and staff at the Mi Casa Neighborhood Center were honored to host Mayor Hancock and his team. His visit was a powerful testament to the great positive impact of Mi Casa’s programs on the lives of youth in Northwest Denver.