A new year means a plethora of new and exciting events for the Lord Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council.
The LMYAC has a great group this year, consisting of nine youth members. The staff representative is Lauren Kruitbosch, community engagement coordinator for the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The LMYAC held their first meeting last month, a very successful meeting of brainstorming ideas for this school year as well as preparing to create new sub-committees, which include advocacy, outreach and wellness.
Additionally, the first meeting consisted of introducing new members through group-engaging activities.
Every year the youth council hosts a Youth Mental Health and Wellness Conference, a day when students in Grade 8 from elementary schools in NOTL gather at the community centre for seminars, workshops and keynote speakers discussing mental health. The council is very eager to see what this year has in store for the annual conference.
I sat down with LMYAC chair Bethany Potl to ask her some questions.
“As we are heading into our third year for the LMYAC, I am excited to say that our five returning members have been with us since our beginning, and we are welcoming four new members. It is fantastic that we continue to grow,’’ says Potl.
“Our LMYAC is composed of really motivated and forward-thinking individuals. Each of us has a number of interests. Establishing sub-committees such as advocacy, outreach and wellness, lets each of us put our talents to use, gain leadership experience and meet more of the needs of our community.’’ says Potl.
The sub-committees are a new idea the council is very much looking forward to, with a number of skills and interest within the council. The council is also passionate about reaching out to others. Potl is hoping the council can be even more involved in community events and have a bigger presence at events.
“For me personally, it is my third year as chair, so I am looking forward to mentoring younger members in leadership. We also had some great ideas and discussions at our first meeting where we are looking at establishing sub-committees, continuing with our Youth Mental Health and Wellness Conference and we are looking to become even more involved in our community.”
This year, however, will be bittersweet for the LMYAC, with members in Grade 12, their final year, including Potl, Clara De Münnich, Genevieve Moncion, and myself.
However, the council is looking to pass the torch onto the next youth willing to take the plunge.