LEWISTON — “What motivates you to do well in school?” is the question that the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) will be asking seventh- and eighth-graders at Lewiston Middle School and St. Dominic Academy, the schools that have representatives on LYAC.

The question is an integral part of LYAC’s new “MOTIVATE ME” initiative to encourage better attitudes about school and raise aspirations. The group chose seventh- and eighth-graders to interact with in an effort to be positive role models to students who will be in high school soon.

Students of both schools, facilitated through English teachers, will be asked to write a few sentences answering the “what motivates you” question. LYAC members will review the students’ written responses and decide on response “stand-outs” for surprise prize package distribution.

As part of the MOTIVATE ME outreach, LYAC will be seeking donations of sweatshirts from Maine’s post-secondary institutions to be used as part of the prize packages.

As a follow-up to the question, LYAC also hopes to visit student classrooms to talk about their own aspirations and respond to the overall themes they glean from the written middle school student responses.

LYAC also hopes to communicate with parents, perhaps through a postcard message, as to the importance of the goals and aspirations of young people.

LYAC Chairwoman Holly Lavorgna said, “The youth council is excited to see how middle school kids are motivated both now and for their future. We hope MOTIVATE ME can help us be role models to younger students, especially when we interact with them about the responses to our question.”

For more information about LYAC, interested individuals may visit www.lewistonmaine.gov/lyac.

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