Members of the Draper City Mayor’s Youth Council for 2014-15 were sworn in and honored at a recent reception. This youth council is the largest ever for Draper, consisting of 44 members and seven advisors who will guide them in the year ahead.
Membership is open to local high school students. Each had to apply and submit a resume in May. Applicants were interviewed by Mayor Troy Walker before being selected.
“We are very lucky to have such a great group of young people who want to do… something different that benefits our community. I want to tell you parents what a fine group of young people you have… (with)...a strong desire to serve the community. That’s impressive,” Walker said.
The group will meet twice monthly throughout the year, in addition to helping with city events such as Haunted Hollow, the tree lighting ceremony and the Easter egg hunt. They’ve already hosted a “Meet the Candidates” night Oct. 6 inviting Draper residents to attend and get to know the people running for political positions on the November ballot. The youth council composed the questions asked of the candidates at that event.
The youth council’s calendar used to end in June, but will now extend into August so that they can help with Draper Days. One of their functions during the city’s celebration is to park and guard bicycles, encouraging people to bike to Draper Days events.
The youth council will also learn about government in the coming year, first by meeting with people from various facets of local government including the police department, parks and recreation and public works, and also by spending a day on Capitol Hill learning about the legislature and meeting with representatives. In March, they will attend a leadership conference for youth councils held at Utah State University. And the mayor will teach them about the city’s budget.
“These youth are incredibly committed to so many things. We have someone from every sport; every club you can think of…none of them is the same. We have artists, musicians, scientists. It’s really fun how different they are,” advisor Stefani Walker said.
She noted that the council has members from each of the area high schools (Juan Diego, Corner Canyon, Summit, Jordan, Hillcrest and Alta) as well. “These kids want to be here. You ask them to do something, they do it. They get it done,” she said.
Emily Paskett has been chosen by the advisors as this year’s youth council mayor, and five others have been chosen as council members, mimicking Draper City’s legislative organization.
Shawn Benjamin serves as chair of the advisors board for the youth council.
“It’s awesome to see so many people coming out to the new class of youth council. Make the most of the opportunity you have,” he told the new youth council members.