Program Spotlight: Youth Council
“Youth Council was a fun experience… I learned that I didn’t have to do things on my own, and that I can rely on a team.” -Minnie, 2016-2017 Youth Councilor
In the early afternoon of Saturday, April 29, about twenty-five people (and one dog) gathered in a sunny community center in SOMA, seated before two speakers who discussed a varied slate of environmental issues and their impact on health and communities. Following the hour-long panel, the event continued with educational games and activities that taught participants about the dangers of overfishing, mining, and oil spills.
The event, “Youth for the Environment”, was the culmination of a year of planning, community-building, and youth empowerment. The entire day was planned by Enterprise’s Youth Council to educate their community on how to get involved with a topic that all twelve members felt passionate about.
“It’s a great place to interact and socialize with peers while gaining skills for the future.” -Sally, 2016-2017 Youth Councilor
With a start date in October, Youth Council spans a longer time period than other programs at Enterprise. Divided into three phases (Building Community, Building Power, and Exercising Power), members spend the program exploring social issues that are important to them, meeting and getting to know their peers, and developing skills to help them become community leaders.
“I’m not afraid to express my opinion anymore. Being in an environment where everyone is really encouraging allowed me to come out of my shell.” -Aaron, 2016-2017 Youth Councilor
This year’s Youth Council selected the impact of the environment on health as their topic and planned Youth for the Environment as their service learning project. While learning the ins-and-outs of nonprofit event planning – from acquiring in-kind donations of food to inviting guest speakers for the panel – they also expanded their understanding of environmental justice and activism. We at Enterprise look forward to seeing these twelve Youth Councilors continue to grow as community leaders and change-makers in the years to come!