Humans of MYAC: Darius Craig
Humans of MYAC Mission Statement: Humans of the Maryland Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) began as initiative to share the lives and portraits of the important people participating in the legislative process. In the Council’s vision to become an effective voice that advocates change, ensures equal opportunity for all youth, and encourages political conversation, the Council aims to share the journeys and the stories of the people working behind the scenes. By amplifying the voices of those legislators, council members, and public servants, we hope that viewers will gain an understanding of who is the Council is and what they stand for.
Why did you get involved in the Maryland Youth Advisory Council and what has been your proudest moment in this organization?
I believe that my calling in life is to serve as an advocate for disenfranchised and underrepresented communities. Growing up in a poor Baltimore neighborhood, I saw firsthand the high levels of inequality in my city, in regions across the country, and even around the world. I realize that I was given the gift to be able to connect with people from many different walks of life. Unfortunately, we see that people’s differences have been a limiting factor in their success. I have a gift, to connect to people, to speak to people, to advocate for people. I joined MYAC to advocate on the behalf of an underrepresented, and underappreciated, community – the Youth of Maryland. I was blessed to be elected Chair of the Council during my first term. A bigger blessing came when I was re-elected Chair in the beginning of my second term (first person in MYAC history). I don’t have one specific proud moment, but many. My favorite moments are those in which I’m able to meet with local officials to discuss issues related to the youth of Maryland. In the past, I’ve met with members of the Baltimore City Council, spoken on a panel about youth violence, and I’ve met with members of the State Board of Education to discuss CTE opportunities in Maryland schools.
What impact can the youth and the next generation have on society? How do you fit into that impact and what are you doing to make your voice heard?
The youth have an amazing advantage when it comes to positive impacts on society. The experiences and wisdom of our elders combined with the new perspectives, diversity, and charisma of the new generation is the recipe for change that may move mountains. Across the country, we see multitudes of youth and young adults marching, speaking up, and advocating for change. Here in Maryland, I plan on leading MYAC to become a major contributor to youth change and prosperity. This includes networking with local officials, other youth organizations, and stakeholders in the quest for change in regards to the youth of Maryland.
What are your aspirations and goals for the future? How does public service fit into those goals?
I decided, back in high school, that public service is the field that I want to dedicate my life too. Elected office is my goal. I want to use the power of the political system to set forth change that will ensure fairness and equality. I want to ensure that every person has an equal chance at success. I have a vision of a world in which people of color, people in the LGBTQ+ community, people of different religions, are treated with love and respect. My goal is to contribute as much as possible to a world not plagued by hate, but united by love.
How have you served your community?
I’ve served in numerous capacities, from Student Government President to Chair of the Council. No matter the position, I was committed to ensuring change. I’ve marched for love and equality, I’ve spoken at community engagements, and I work with local officials.
It’s also important to note that I’m part of multiple communities. At the University of Maryland, I’ve had many achievements geared towards serving the disadvantaged. During my freshman year, I served as the Chair of the Dining Services Advisory Council. During my term, I helped UMD’s Dining Services switch from a la carte dining to anytime buffet-style dining. This change was meant to combat food insecurities. I also served as a Senator for the Residence Hall Association, where I championed a resolution urging Resident Life to install security cameras in the lobbies of Residence Halls, to combat rising thefts in Residence Halls. All in all, my heart is with my community, and it always will be. Although I’ve done a lot, I have way more to do!
Chair, Maryland Youth Advisory Council
Junior, University of Maryland College Park