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Gwinnett County High School Students Present Ideas for Improving Metro Atlanta to ARC Board

Atlanta – Last week, metro area high school students presented resolutions to the Atlanta Regional Commission Board outlining their innovative ideas for making metro Atlanta a more dynamic place to live and work.

The students represented the 48 participants of the 2017-2018 Model Atlanta Regional Commission (MARC) youth leadership program. The class was comprised of students from the 10-county region, including four from Gwinnett County. The student leaders participated in six months of study, debate and hands-on activities regarding regional issues and challenges.

“I am so impressed with the hard work and thoughtful resolutions put forth by these young leaders,” said Kerry Armstrong, ARC board chair. “It’s evident that these students have a passion for finding new and creative ways to improve our region. The ARC Board committees will now review each resolution, looking for ways to advance their ideas.”

The Gwinnett County participants were:
Tayler Jackson, a senior at Parkview High School
Sophia Nguyen, a junior at Duluth High School
Alykhan Pirani, a sophomore at Parkview High School
Divine Uwagerikpe, a senior at North Gwinnett High School

These students served on MARC committees that submitted the following resolutions to the ARC board for consideration:

‘Adopt a Grandparent’ program – Encourage strong, multi-generational communities through the pairing of an older adult and high school students, promoting improved emotional and physical health for both parties
‘Blue Light Systems’ – To increase the level of safety and comfort in metro Atlanta by implementing a “Blue Light System” in and around major activity centers, especially near college campuses and areas that might have a history or perception of high crime
Promote “learning-gardens” in school – Improve environmental education in local elementary schools by creating gardens at schools that promote awareness of water pollution, air pollution, the use of pesticides, habitat destruction, and other issues
‘The GreenLife Transit App’ – Improve mobility millennials and younger generations by partnering with MARTA leaders to develop a cell phone application with incentives that will promote the use of public transit, walking, and biking.

“The Model Atlanta Regional Commission opened my eyes to issues and challenges faced by communities across the region, in addition to introducing me to an amazing group of diverse people, making bonds sure to last a lifetime,” said Alykhan Pirani, a sophomore at Parkview High School and chairman of the Land Use and Community Development Committee. “Overall, MARC is an amazing opportunity for young people to congregate and learn how to create positive change in our world, today.”

Now in its 21st year, the MARC program is accepting applications for next school year’s class through March 16. Learn more at