Charlottesville Youth Council Addresses Community Issues
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -
A group of students in Charlottesville is sharing its ideas to improve the community through leadership. The youth council presented a list of recommendations to city councilors this week, exploring options for change and action.
The 16 appointed members of the group are middle and high school students from all over the city. The youth council formally met nine times during this year's term to target three areas of community need.
Seventh-grader Zyahna Bryant and ninth-grader Megan Bird are getting a one-of-a-kind leadership experience through their positions on Charlottesville's youth council.
“I'm really glad that I joined because when you live in Charlottesville, it's easy to live in a bubble, and you won't really know what's going on and it's just really good to be aware of your surroundings and what's going on in the community,” Bryant said.
Bird said, “I think joining youth council was definitely one of the best decisions I made.”
The group stood in front of City Council this week to present a report on several ways they feel Charlottesville can be changed for the better. The first item of business was bicycle and pedestrian accessibility and safety.
“We asked the City Council to buy the MACAA building, so that CHS students could have a safer way to commute to school,” Bird said.
The second category was school funding and the city budget.
“We looked at our budget shortfall and we decided we can help fix it and some ways we can cut back in schools and also raise taxes some places in the city so we can make money for the schools,” Bryant said.
Lastly, they talked public safety - in the downtown area.
“Establishing the blue light system that UVA has on the downtown mall to promote security and safety,” Bird said.
Bryant and Bird agree they've grown through their time on council.
“I feel like I'm actually helping my community,” Bird said.
“Just getting to know some people in the community and getting to work with different people of different cultures is really fun,” Bryant said.
The students want to sit down for a work session with city councilors in the fall. The youth council will have six openings for next year.
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