Youth groups hope city takes advantage of public forums - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Youth groups hope city takes advantage of public forums

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB)  --  Before Mayor-elect Andy Berke takes office later this month, he's gathering more feedback from the community through public forums. On Thursday, it's all about youth development and education, a topic Joe Smith is familiar with.

"I wouldn't want to face the difficulties that young people are faced with today," Smith says.

Smith works with at risk youth at the Westside Boxing Club through YCAP.

He says the challenges that face many young boys and girls in Chattanooga is widespread.

"It goes back to poverty and not being able to find a job, and the lack of education. It's very multifaceted and complex," Smith says.

At the United Way, Julie Thomsen focuses on out of school programs. She says social issues and environmental issues contribute to the challenges our youth face. She hopes many of them will speak out in public forums.

"We would love to hear from the community what quality means to them," Thomsen says.

However, talk can only do so much.

"My hope is that Mayor-elect and his new administration will stop just talking and lets get some things done to make a difference in the city of Chattanooga," says Smith.

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