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Grande Prairie Youth Advisory Council applications now open

Youths and young adults in Grande Prairie have an opportunity to make their voices regularly heard at the municipal level. Applications for the the Youth Advisory Council are now open for 2020-21 to anyone aged 14 to 24.

The council is seeking applicants who have a desire to inspire, influence change, and have a noticeable impact on their community. According to the Council Liaison Diana Wright, they’re looking to fill 15 seats for the upcoming year. Incumbent members of the council will also be required to reapply for their positions.

Wright says she sincerely hopes at least some of the previous members stick around to help show the ropes to the new personnel.

“There [are] four members who are currently active so I’m hoping those four will be selected just to bring experience to the group,” she says. “We do still need that experience rather than having a whole group of new youths, so those four who have been active would make amazing leaders for the new members who are coming on board.”

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The goal of the YAC is to directly connect youth representatives with city council, boards, committees, and other community discussions around important events, policies, economic changes, and infrastructure.

One of the active members, 18-year-old Shubh Patel, says he believes everyone should be offered the chance to have a voice and represent their respective demographic in any major discussion that might affect a community.

“The challenges in our community [are] all shared amongst all of the age groups and we’re all subject to the same impacts of the decisions we make today, so why is it that the youth, who will face the ramifications of today’s political decisions are the longest excluded from the political processes?”

“During many pertinent challenges that our community is facing right now, this can be pertaining to the mental health crisis that’s going on, the ecological sustainability issue, the Black Lives Matter – there’s just so much,” he adds.

Wright adds that when the new council is selected, one of the primary goals will be for members to sit on a wide variety of advisory committees and give voice to initiatives across the city. Members will be expected to commit a minimum of four to five hours per month to the council, as well as attend regular meetings.

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