Hopkinton Youth and Family Services Director Dawn Alcott would like to highlight Hopkinton Youth Commission (HYC) Chair Eva Bennet for her service and dedication to the Commission and Hopkinton community.
While there have been other youth liaisons that have served before her, Bennet, who is currently a high school junior, is the first youth voting member to serve the Hopkinton Youth Commission. She previously served as HYC Secretary in 2021.
In 2023, she was appointed to HYC Chair. She originally joined the program because she felt that a voting youth member would be able to add perspective to a commission focused on understanding the needs of the youth and the types of opportunities, programs and activities that can benefit them.
As chair, she is responsible for collaborating with other organizations with goals that are aligned with those of the HYC; developing recommendations for the Select Board regarding programs, projects and policies benefiting youth and families; and setting annual goals in conjunction with the Youth Services Department.
Bennet is passionate about mental health, diversity and inclusion, using facts and science to drive progress, and open dialogue, and found that those passions aligned with the goals and mission of HYC.
"I really enjoy working with a group of people with shared goals who treat each other with mutual respect and acceptance," Bennet said. "HYC continues to be an incredible learning and growth opportunity for me."
Bennet's passion for volunteering began at a young age. During elementary and middle school, she volunteered at a local soup kitchen, food pantry and at her community church. During high school, she took youth leadership training and started volunteering for the Hopkinton Organizing for Prevention Coalition and the Hopkinton Youth Commission to serve youth and families.
Additionally, Bennet served as chair of the Hopkinton High School Diversity Club, founder of the Hopkinton High School Current Events Club, and founder of the annual "we wear red day" to celebrate and empower women and girls.
"Volunteerism is often powered by passion and purpose," Bennet said. "This is certainly true for me. I am passionate about mental health, diversity and inclusion, social justice, education, and using science to make a real-world impact for people."
As a daughter of immigrants, whose parents came to the United States to pursue higher studies, Bennet recognizes the privilege of living in an affluent American suburb. This inspired her to serve as an ambassador of change for the Ek Kadam Aur Foundation, which serves students in India and Nepal.
As an aspiring psychiatrist, Bennet is particularly passionate about focusing on the issues of mental health and substance use, crises that were worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic and impact youth.
"It is a joy to collaborate with Eva through the Youth Commission," said Director Alcott. "Her dedication to the wellbeing of all youth and perseverance as part of the HYC is truly inspiring."
Hopkinton Youth Commission
HYC is diligent about identifying the emerging and ongoing needs of Hopkinton's youth and families and creating community-wide opportunities that support the long-term well-being of all youth.
The HYC continues to engage the community and create constructive action for year-round volunteer initiatives, as well as provide opportunities for connection to reduce isolation and promote mental health. Specifically, the HYC is working to build a volunteer base for local nonprofit organizations that are in need of volunteer help and a resource listing to promote year-round volunteerism for residents of all ages.
"One of my reasons for continuing in this role is to inspire more youth to volunteer in the community, including leadership roles," Bennet said.
The Hopkinton Youth Commission is currently accepting new members. To learn how you can become involved, click following link: https://hopkintonma.granicus.com/boards/w/b9d8382c06194e78/boards/32742