Youth of the Beaver Valley are now officially politically engaged.
With the creation of the inaugural youth council for 2012-2013, young people up to the age of 19 now have a voice through the newly created Beaver Valley Youth Council.
The seven-person council—including two mayors—was created on June 11 in Montrose municipal council chambers, said Jill Prince, the Village of Fruitvale councillor charged with overseeing the council.
With lots of resources, energy, connections and plenty of communication being amassed, the seeds of a flourishing council are sprouting, said Prince.
“We have all of the things to make this thing successful,” she said.
Thirteen year-old Casey O’Hara from Fruitvale was elected as the junior youth mayor for the 12-15 year age group, and 17-year-old Anna Cook from Montrose was acclaimed as senior youth mayor for the 16-19 group.
The councillors for the first term include Morgan Bayley, 17, of Montrose, Julia Halbert, 12, of Fruitvale, Ashley Horrill, 17, of Fruitvale, and Chase Lavigne, 12, of Fruitvale.
The council is now looking to hire a youth coordinator to handle the reins of council, to provide some direction and guidance as they make their way through matters.
In the contract the council signed with Columbia Basin Trust for an $25,000 annual grant, the initial plan was to spend $5,000 on developing the council, $5,000 for purchasing equipment—building up a store of equipment for use within the region—and $15,000 to pay for activities.
The first action of council was to plan an activity: a free bowling party for Beaver Valley youth on July 6 at Beaver Valley Lanes.
“The primary duty of council is to put together activities in support of what kids want to do, and they wanted this,” said Prince.
The 12 to 15 year olds are invited to bowl from 6-9 p.m., and the 16 to 19 year olds are invited to bowl from 9 p.m. to midnight. Pizza, drinks and prizes will be provided for both sessions.
There are 35 spots available in each session and interested youth are invited to contact the Village of Fruitvale office at 250-367-7551 to reserve a spot.
People can check out the Beaver Valley Youth Council Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Beaver-Valley-Youth-Council/464272223601413.