C3 and PHA help teens tackle community issues

Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 4:38 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Community Climate Collaborative and the Piedmont Housing Alliance are helping the youth find and use their voice.

Teens living in Friendship Court have been spending their time away from school this summer making Charlottesville a more equitable place as part of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Youth Ambassador Program. They were selected by PHA and C3 in late June.

“It just grew from there, to us being able to talk to the mayor, trying to be a part of the transit station planning district, and to working with whoever comes to aid the community as much as we can,” Ezhar Zahid said.

“Our generation has kind of grown up to deal with issues that past people didn’t really think about. A lot of systemic change is needing to happen, and the people affected by change need to be included in deciding those changes,” Logan Martin said.

Iraj Lahib, another ambassador, says it’s been a fun experience so far.

The group meets four days a week, representing an often overlooked voice on current issues. They’re focused on encouraging more people to ride Charlottesville Area Transit instead of driving cars. They believe this will cut emissions and create a healthier environment.

“The new and the most recent issue is school transportation. This would have never come to my mind if somebody had told me that students will be walking to school like, even last year, or the year before,” Asadullah Faqirzada said.

They plan to report to the school board with student feedback once classes have started.

The teens say it’s the more the merrier on their team, and if you want to join them, email info@theclimatecollaborative.org.

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