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Rocky Mount teen serves on state panel

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ROCKY MOUNT — Rocky Mount Area Youth Council President Nyanna Sherrod recently served as a panel member during the N.C. Department of Administration’s Status of Women in N.C. Report Launch: Political Participation seminar hosted by the Council for Women and Youth Involvement.

The Status of Women in N.C. Report Launch is a four-part series highlighting the progress and obstacles women continue to face and to encourage policy and program changes that can improve opportunities for women across the state.

Sherrod, a high school senior, was recently named chair of the State Youth Council Executive Board, was appointed by Gov. Roy Cooper to serve on the State Youth Advisory Council and has been a member of the Rocky Mount Area Youth Council since ninth grade. 

As president of the council, she oversees meetings, attends conferences, volunteers at events and leads the council to address youth needs in the community. Currently, under Sherrod’s leadership, the RMAYC is working on projects intended to raise awareness of sex trafficking and teen mental health. As president, she works closely with the city of Rocky Mount Human Relations Department to coordinate with area experts who can address specific topics of interest to local youth.

During the online symposium, Sherrod responded to questions from the moderator and spoke of the challenges she has faced during her tenure.

“Making everyone feel included is the greatest challenge I face. I feel like my job is to make sure people are comfortable. Another thing is to get more young males to participate within our council,” said the youngest panel member.

Discussing the participation of women in politics with Sherrod were Machelle Sanders, N.C. Department of Administration secretary; Sheriff Paula Dance from Pitt County; Elyse Shaw, study director for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Jo Nichols, president of the League of Women Voters; and District Court Judge Robin Robinson of the 5th Judicial District.

Kristin Cooper, first lady of North Carolina, joined and shared Gov. Cooper’s proclamation recognizing Women’s Equality Day and the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment’s passage.

The RMAYC is a state-chartered organization composed of area high school students and is designed to serve, listen and represent local youth in matters of civic interest and need. For questions regarding participation in the RMAYC, contact Felisa Hunter, youth council adviser and senior human relations specialist, at 252-972-1184 or visit the human relations page on the city’s website at www.rockymountnc.gov.