BUCKHANNON – The Buckhannon-Upshur Youth Council (BU Youth Council) has announced a variety of plans and upcoming projects. As part of Create Buckhannon and Festival Fridays, the BU Youth Council will have ongoing activities and participate in service projects focusing on youth engagement in the community.
Dr. Susan Aloi was happy to share information about the UB Youth Council. Dr. Aloi has long served the community of Buckhannon in the advocacy aspects of economic development, education, business and much more. Dr Aloi shared: “Create Buckhannon, a grassroots community group, organizes and runs Friday festival events throughout the summer, among other projects. Late last fall, Create Buckhannon launched a youth council to provide an ongoing voice for ideas, concerns, suggestions, challenges, and more. young people and to help us involve our young people more in the community.
It was also reported that the first members of the UB Youth Council were nominated by their teachers and counsellors. Eleven middle and high school students were chosen for this first council by the Create Buckhannon planning committee. Monthly meetings have been taking place since November 2021, during which the BU Youth Council discusses ideas and activities.
One of the upcoming activities is Youth Festival Friday, taking place at Jawbone Park on Friday July 29th. Soda Pop Gypsies were chosen to perform by the BU Youth Council. Additionally, the board decided to have an open mic as the opening act, followed by several activities including a spikeball and volleyball contest. Other typical children’s games are also offered on the Fridays of the Festival.
The BU Youth Council also wanted to wrap up the Youth Festival on Friday with a screening of “The Goonies,” made possible in conjunction with the City of Buckhannon and West Virginia Wesleyan College. Popcorn and drinks will also be available during the film.
Future activities were discussed by the BU Youth Council, including participation in service projects, a youth-focused trivia night and themed escape rooms throughout Buckhannon town centre.
Some of BU’s current Youth Council members shared their thoughts with The delta of records. Hank Phillips shared: “The Youth Council provides an incredible opportunity for young people to have a lasting impact on the development of Buckhannon, globally shaping our town into a more inclusive, diverse and active community. I am so grateful to be part of the Youth Council and look forward to the many upcoming events and plans we have. We have a great team of young people and adults who care deeply about our community for a better future.
Cameron Zuliani said, “It’s a great way to engage the community with young people… I love being able to draw attention to creating a better community for everyone.
“I think the youth council is a great way to make sure young people are heard in the community and get them more involved. I think the overall goal, especially for the youth council which is very new, is just to get young people’s voices heard and involved in things like festival Fridays,” explained Joey Nolte. “I think overall Buckhannon is a wonderful and beautiful place but lacks youth involvement. Being a member of the youth council gives me the opportunity to help get the young people of Buckhannon more involved.
Lila Wright shared: “I joined the youth council after being nominated by a teacher. I was delighted to be able to join because I believe Buckhannon needs to become more personable and open to young citizens, and the best way to do this is with input from children and young people themselves…I am also happy to participate because that I wanted the experience of being involved in my community, which I think will benefit me in the future.
Dr Aloi noted: “Later this summer we will be recruiting new members for the UB Youth Council. We will share an application form that any interested middle school or high school student can fill out. The selection of Youth Council members will be based on the grade and gender balance in the group, as well as their answers to application questions. We hope to have 15-20 Youth Council members for the next school year.
Be sure to follow The delta of records for updates on BU Youth Council events!