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Rochester Mayor Malik Evans celebrates youth development leaders in the Rochester community

Published April 27, 2022

Rochester Mayor Malik Evans ‘17G praised youth development professionals in a talk at Nazareth College and proclaimed Tuesday, April 26, “Thank a Youth Worker Day.” He honored Rochester area professionals who serve youth in our community as well as mentor Nazareth College students who are majoring or minoring in community youth development.  Nazareth’s community youth development program, the student club called Community Youth Development Collective, and Nazareth’s Weider Community Engagement office co-sponsored the National Youth Worker Appreciation Day event on campus.  

The mayor also surprised Marie Watkins ‘73, Ph.D., director of Nazareth’s community youth development program, with a plaque for her years of service and leadership of youth development in Rochester. He referenced her motto to “have fun with a purpose.” Watkins, who has been recognized nationally for her mentoring excellence, is retiring after 23 years of teaching at Nazareth.

The mayor read part of the proclamation: “The City of Rochester honors those who make an investment in our youth. Those who guide, support, and develop our young people as they help build future citizens who will make a strong community. The City is also supportive of all the youth who step up. The City also recognizes and thanks Dr. Marie Watkins for her never-ending commitment and leadership to make so much possible in youth development locally. All citizens are encouraged to celebrate and thank those who volunteer, and professionals who choose to guide, teach, develop, and support our young people throughout their lives.” 

Mayor Evans shared his memories and appreciation for the vital contribution of youth development professionals who give their time, energy, and enthusiasm to “grow” the next generation of young people. As an adolescent, Evans benefited from the wisdom and guidance of one such youth development professional, Nancy Johns-Price, who was at the event. She came out of retirement and now serves in the mayor’s cabinet as youth engagement coordinator.


For more: Community Youth Development major

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Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | jlong2@naz.edu | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.