July 24th, 2021

Youth Advisory Council looking for new members

By Al Beeber on June 15, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Al Beeber

Lethbridge Herald

abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

The Lethbridge Youth Advisory Council is looking for a few good people.

The municipally-funded group will be soon seeking new committee members to fill positions that will become vacant in December.

Four positions will be open when those terms end. A fifth, for the University of Lethbridge Student Union representative, expired in April.

The YAC, says the City of Lethbridge website, “exists to foster a relationship between Lethbridge City Council and the youth of the City of Lethbridge.”

It acts in an advisory role to city council, the City and community partners on issues that are relevant to the city and community.

Declan Sander, chair and public member, said Friday “I’ll be leaving and a few others because of university and a few other things and we’re looking for new members.”

The YAC role, he said, “is to really inform city council about the youth initiatives and kind of provide feedback and give youth a voice in Lethbridge.”

“We want people’s voices to be heard; we do a lot of educational events like a COVID-19 forum where we had a bunch of different city council members” and others such as Nathan Neudorf and Rachael Harder talking about how to deal with COVID.

YAC initiatives include four projects “we spent a lot of time working on.”

One was a mask project in which the YAC bought 100 masks and distributed 10 each to 20 city businesses, the purpose being to encourage youth to shop locally, he said.

“We’re trying to promote shopping local and also wearing your mask and this has been quite successful actually.”

The YAC also ran a forum on racial discrimination “and we did this at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement and what happened was we had actually planned to do this in person but with the way things happened, we ended up doing this virtually.

“We had five speakers from Lethbridge and area speaking about where racism comes from and how we can combat it and how we can work together.

“It was also an opportunity for youth in Lethbridge to voice their concerns and ask questions so they can have a better understanding of the subject.”

Another project involved a youth healthcare directory outlining health resources for youth in Lethbridge.

The YAC printed out 500 copies and “put it in all the schools” and on various websites.

“It had access to all the different resources like Woods home for example for youth who are homeless and all these different resources. There’s act4ually a lot of resources for people, very specific ones,” said Sander.

The fourth was a COVID-19 recovery forum.

“It was really just to give people a better understanding of how we’re dealing with COVID and how we can overcome it as a community. I’ve really enjoyed working on this project.”

YAC recruitment, he said, is done through the city clerk’s office but “we wanted to be on top of it this year and make sure people know about the Youth Advisory Council. We have a lot of different people who are interested but of course everyone will have equal opportunity.”

Council members can be between the ages of 14 and 25 and the focus of the YAC is “to ensure all youth are represented,” says getinvolvedlethbridge.ca

People wanting information on the council can email yaclethbridge.gmail.com

Meetings of the YAC are open to the public and are being held virtually until further notice. People can contact committee@lethbridge.ca if they want to be part of a virtual meeting.

In normal circumstances, they are held on the third Thursday of each month from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Culver City meeting room at City Hall.

Follow @albeebHerald on Twitter

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