Back in the day, children were to be seen and not heard. Now, in the days of COVID-19, youth, if they can’t be seen, want to make certain their voices are being heard.
With the support of teacher Erika Blume, Grade 11 student Tristen Peterson wants to set up a youth council at Lake Cowichan School and they want help from the town’s council.
“I’m hoping to increase youth participation and the youth voice in discussions that affect us in town and I am hoping to work directly with council, hopefully with the school having a high involvement as well,” Peterson explained.
While the youth group has yet to hear back from Lake Cowichan town council, they’ve held about five meetings thus far and have wrapped their heads around some initiatives they’d like to take on.
“We have a few in the planning,” Peterson noted. “We have discussed a youth media organization, a garbage clean-up around town, and we have had high support for an outdoor gym area. These are just a couple rough drafts.”
Because everything is in the preliminary stages, they can’t really get any projects done just yet, Peterson said.
They do hope to start working with council officially at some point, though.
“Our thoughts would be to mirror the structure of the town council with a youth mayor and four councillors,” Peterson’s letter to council said. “Our goal, in following through on the latter, would be for us to discuss and offer a youth opinion on issues the town council may be addressing at their council meetings.”
Blume thinks the project will be a great success.
“I think it is a great idea,” she said. “[Tristen] is very passionate about this project.”