Commissioners present teen perspective

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn

Photo courtesy of the city of Dearborn

Dearborn Youth Affairs Commissioners represent Dearborn, Edsel Ford and Fordson High schools and the Henry Ford Academy. Shown are Amanda Bazzi (front row left), Norman Orabi, Alejandra Carrillo and Sharon Zalupski, Advisor Lee Morris (back row left), Ashley Al-Abawi, John Kisch, Marwa Hammoud, Gabriel Gutierrez and Jacob Zablocki.

Recycle Dearborn, citywide volleyball tournament in the works

DEARBORN – The city’s Youth Affairs Commission is planning a “Recycle Dearborn” education program and a citywide high school volleyball tournament this spring.

The 15 high school students who volunteer to serve on the commission identified both initiatives to fulfill their mission to benefit the community and build connections between high school students from across Dearborn.

The campaign is designed to increase resident awareness of opportunities to make Dearborn “green.” For inspiration, the commissioners recently visited a landfill.

Advisor, Lee Morris, manager of the Dearborn Hills Golf Course, and Dave Norwood, sustainability coordinator for the city, joined them for the tour.

“In Dearborn, between 8,000 and 12,000 tons of recyclable items are thrown away instead of going into recycle bins every week,” said Youth Affairs Commissioner Amanda Bazzi, a junior at Fordson High School. “Plastic and glass that could be recycled take up valuable space in landfills and often take hundreds of years longer to decompose than nonrecyclable items. Learning this inspired us to launch the ‘Recycle Dearborn’ initiative.”

The commissioners also visited the recycling facility that handles about 150 tons of recyclable materials collected from Dearborn households each week.

Using what they’ve learned about recycling, the students are producing a “Recycle Dearborn” video to kick off their campaign. The video will air on the city’s cable television station, YouTube, and social networking sites.

In an initiative to bring high school students together from across Dearborn, the Youth Affairs Commission is planning a citywide volleyball tournament to be held later this spring at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center. Details will be announced at all Dearborn high schools and posted on the city Web site.

Youth Affairs Commissioners share a passion for using their leadership skills and creativity to make Dearborn a better place to live. Students who serve on the commission are selected by school administrators and counselors at each high school in Dearborn based on their leadership abilities and demonstrated passion to give back to the Dearborn community.

High school students who are interested in volunteering on the Youth Affairs Commission should contact their school guidance counselor, principal or Morris at

The members of the Youth Affairs Commission are: Norman Orabi, Alec Orner and Jillian Rivait from Dearborn High School; Alejandra Carrillo, Gabriel Gutierrez, Jacob Zablocki and Sharon Zalupski from Divine Child High School; Ashley Al-Abawi, Jordan Filipowski, Marwa Hammoud from Edsel Ford High School; Bazzi, Diala Ali and Reem Hamade from Fordson High School; and Maura Cawthon and John Kisch from Henry Ford Academy.