Junior Youth Council members Patrick Newsome and Abbi Taylor represented the council Tuesday evening

Junior Youth Council members Patrick Newsome and Abbi Taylor represented the council Tuesday evening

Williams Lake youth council wraps up term

Members of the Williams Lake Junior Council prepare to hand over the reins to a new group of youth.

As some of the members of Williams Lake Junior Council prepare to hand over the reins, a final report to city council shows how effective the council has been its formative year.

Members Patrick Newsome and Abbi Taylor gave a PowerPoint presentation, outlining the year’s highlights, at Tuesday’s regular council meeting. In April, the council hosted and facilitated a two-day youth forum. On the first day 25 adults participated. Both the adults and youth learned about the impact of stereotypes, which can include lower self-esteem, withdrawal from society, self-abuse and aggression.

“The adults learned ways to approach youth and the benefits of involving youth,” Newsome said.

At the second day of the forum, 25 youth from both high schools participated and generated a list of suggestions. Voicing appreciation for the outdoor and indoor recreational amenities in Williams Lake and the presence of Thompson Rivers University, access to scholarships and the variety of shopping available, the youth also said they would like to see improvements and upgrades to trails, bike paths, and events for youth. Better transit service was also identified.

The call has gone out for new council members and Newsome said so far six applications have come in.

Coun. Sue Zacharias praised the youth council for its efforts and said she’s e-mailed the final report to friends, developers, leaders, volunteers and business people in the community, asking what can be done to help the report’s suggestions come to fruition.

“After reading your report, I was quite moved,” Zacharias said. “I felt that I learned something reading the report. I think the report is important for people to read to hear the ideas, issues and concerns of youth.”

Upon receiving the report, council also passed a motion to forward it to refer it to the community services committee.