Fr. Monan to Co-Chair Masschusetts Summit on Youth

6-2-97 -- University Chancellor J. Donald Monan, SJ, has been selected to co-chair the nation's first state-wide conference aimed at addressing the needs of children.

Fr. Monan was appointed co-chair of the October event with comedian Bill Cosby by Gov. William Weld. The conference, titled The Massachusetts Summit: The Promise of Our Youth, is the first follow-up to the Presidents' Summit for America's Future, held last month in Philadelphia.

Retired Gen. Colin Powell was in Boston on Saturday to announce the conference and note Massachusetts' leading role in sustaining the momentum generated by the Presidents' Summit, of which he was general chairman.

The Massachusetts event will be held Oct. 25-26 at Northeastern University and is aimed at bringing together the state's corporations, non-profit institutions, universities, local and state governments, and individual citizens to create a new level of volunteer service for the commonwealth's young people.

"My own attitude is that children deserve the attention we are trying to provide," Fr. Monan said. "If we don't do this, the children of today will not be the only ones to suffer. Our business, our cities, our culture and our society all will pay the price."

Fr. Monan, who co-chairs the Greater Boston One-to-One mentoring program, noted that the conference will be organized on the proposition that America's youth must have access to five fundamental resources:

-- An ongoing relationship with a caring adult or mentor.

-- A safe place to learn and grow.

-- A healthy start.

-- A marketable skill through effective education.

-- An opportunity to give back through community service.

"I attended the summit the Gen. Powell chaired in Philadelphia and I am convinced that our Massachusetts summit is the opportunity we have been looking for to give every child a fair start in life," Fr. Monan said at Saturday's announcement.

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