Milford continues to be proud of its ever-growing Youth Services Network. This network is made up of representatives from all youth-servicing organizations along with the Mayor, police, firefighters and Board of Education. It meets monthly to discuss current youth needs and build awareness for the numerous programs and services offered to help meet these needs. Milford also is committed, under the guidance of the Milford United Way, to "Project Graduation," an effort targeted at keeping students engaged in school, thereby reducing the drop-out rate.
There are several programs in place to allow youth an organized voice in the community. Milford has a unique organization called the Youth Commission which consists of local middle and high school students who meet monthly to discuss current youth related issues and their goals and ideas for the potential solutions and programs in the community. The City pays a stipend for an adult advisor to facilitate this group, yet they remain entirely youth driven.
Milford’s Promise, a local youth alliance, has instituted an Organizations of Promise program in Milford. This program strives to identify schools, churches, agencies and businesses that show an ongoing commitment to fulfilling the Five Promises for youth in Milford. Each organization is asked to complete an application discussing how they personally meet each of the Five Promises. This helps identify what various groups are doing for youth in the community and also reinforces each organization’s commitment to the promises.
This past year, in light of the H1N1 influenza pandemic, a number of influenza clinics were held across Milford to provide the H1N1 vaccine free for children, who are at a higher risk of contracting the virus. Educational materials for families about the H1N1 influenza were distributed through the schools, on the Health Department website and phone system, and through community contacts. All school nurses collected and reported daily on any flu-like symptoms witnessed for each of their schools giving up-to-the-minute information about the health of local school children. School nurses also regularly help students’ families complete and submit paperwork for enrollment in the HUSKY state insurance program. This program helps ensure that all youth in the community have access to basic medical coverage and services.
The annual Mayor’s Youth Awards ceremony recognizes students that continuously serve and respect their community through exceptional behavior and community service. Teachers, local businesses and youth organizations send their youth nominations for this award each year directly to the Mayor for consideration. Also upon graduation, if a student has gathered at least 40 hours of community service per year throughout high school, they graduate with a Diploma of Distinction, which includes a special seal on their diploma and special recognition from the Mayor. Students also play an active role on the Milford’s Promise Board of Directors.