The City of Williams Lake’s fifth group of Junior Councillors was sworn into office at the regular council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 21, reports the city.
Chief administrative officer Darrell Garceau administered the oath of office to Jasmine Tio, Donovan Shaw, Kennedi Pickard, Cassandra Abel, Lexi Pedersen, Monica Rawlek and Brianna Chaffee.
Six are students at Lake City Secondary School’s Williams Lake Campus, while Monica Rawlek is a Maranatha student.
The Junior Council program provides an opportunity for the youth of Williams Lake to acquire a greater knowledge and appreciation of the local government system through active participation in decision-making and to assist the elected city council in obtaining input from youth in decisions before council.
Each year Junior Council sets learning goals and then chooses a project to work on. In 2011/12 Junior Council received group facilitator and leadership training and then led a workshop for adults on youth engagement and hosted a full day youth forum. In 2012/13 Junior Council worked on planning to develop a public outdoor ice rink for the community to use.
Junior Council members will be participating in a leadership training workshop this week, in conjunction with youth from the School District’s new youth advisory council.
“I’m looking forward to working with another group of committed, enthusiastic young people,” says Anne Burrill, manager of social development.
The city’s inaugural Junior Council began in April 2011. This year’s junior council inductees bring the total number of young people who have served in that capacity so far to 25.
The council is modeled after a similar program in the town of Clearwater, where high school students organize and hold meetings, communicate to the City the issues, needs, and recommendations of the youth, and make presentations to city council, among other initiatives.