Beaver Valley youth council taking shape

A youth centre and programs to fill it are on the radar of a newly formed Youth Advisory Council for the Beaver Valley.

A youth centre and programs to fill it are on the radar of a newly formed Youth Advisory Council for the Beaver Valley.

The fledgling council arose out of a Columbia Basin Trust (CBT)-sponsored forum in mid-February in Fruitvale. Over 60 people showed up for the forum, with a healthy contingent of youth in attendance (as required by the CBT).

Columbia Youth Community Development Centre (YCDC) coordinator Morgan-River Jones, who helped facilitate the forum, said the key issues of space — call it a youth centre — for youth where they could hang out and have programs running from, and an increase in youth-oriented programming, were paramount.

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) will now investigate the opportunity to have different kinds of services and events delivered in the Beaver Valley itself. The committee will also be tasked to draw in more youth from the Beaver Valley.

“And when they really represent the youth voice they will move forward and try to make some of these priorities happen,” said Jones.

Fruitvale, Area A and Montrose’s needs differ from Trail, even though the two regions are close together, said Jones.

“A lot of times youth from the Beaver Valley have trouble accessing services because public transportation isn’t so (manageable),” she said.

“They feel there needs to be more programming, or enhanced programming, in the community but that has to come from the youth themselves.”

And now it likely will be. The Beaver Valley communities have been awarded a Community-Directed Youth Fund grant worth $100,000 from the CBT.

The degree of enthusiasm in the valley for youth-related projects is enviable, said Jones, and it was one of the reasons why the CBT gave them the conditional grant.

The YCDC is no longer involved in Beaver Valley process, instead moving forward with a similar process in Warfield and Trail in May.