PARTNERSHIP: Youth council formed between WCCS, Columbia City

COLUMBIA CITY — Mayor Ryan Daniel and Superintendent of Whitley County Consolidated Schools, Dr. Patricia O’Connor have developed a new cooperative called the Columbia City Youth Council (CCYC). Comprised of students from the sophomore, junior and senior classes at Columbia City High School, the program will focus on engaging youth in the future of the city. Mayor Daniel explained, “These students will have a direct impact on the future of our community. Their input will help the city council and me to create a hometown where our students will want to live and raise their future children.” Students from these three grades will be chosen for the 2012-2013 school years’ council. After an application process, the students will be chosen by the mayor’s selection committee. Once selected, the students will continue in the program until graduation. Dr. O’Connor said, “Mayor Daniel’s new youth council provides a tremendous opportunity for our students to learn about their hometown and local government. We are very fortunate to be able to participate in such a positive activity.”After an organizational meeting, the students will elect a president, vice-president and clerk for the group. They will also select one member each month to represent the CCYC at one Columbia City Common Council meeting where that individual will be a non-voting member of the city council. Students will meet with the mayor once a month during regular school hours to learn about local government and play a part in designing the future of the city. “This is a big step toward engaging our youth,” said Daniel. “It is imperative to give the next generation a stake in our future.”