Youth Advisory Committee makes plans to improve Belmont’s community


Katerina Gaines

Mira Wakefield (left) participates in an ice breaker activity to get to know her peers.

The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) spent its first meeting of the year planning the events it will host this coming school year for the enhancement of the Belmont community.

On Sept. 26, committee members assembled at the Barrett Community Center to brainstorm ideas for events during this upcoming school year.

The new YAC advisor, Brandon Council, started the meeting with an icebreaker, introducing the members to each other. He then proceeded to share and receive input from members about bylaws and elections within YAC.

The majority of the meeting focused on brainstorming ideas. They discussed possible TEDxYouth talks similar to the ones they held last year, focused on helping students achieve success in school.

“I’m excited to go forward with more unique events and focus specifically on civic engagement, especially with the older kids and teens in the community,” said sophomore Mira Wakefield, a new YAC member.

YAC was founded in 2016 with its primary goal of giving a voice to the youth of the Belmont community. Meetings are every second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Barrett Community Center in E11.

The committee promotes youth civic involvement and supports innovative ideas proposed by council members.

“I want to spread awareness about City Council and what’s going on in town,” said Maggie Pavao, a junior and member of YAC.

Members are encouraged to provide feedback on every decision involving the committee’s policies and actions. The YAC also works with the Belmont City Council to organize local government operations.

“YAC is a direct pipeline from the youth to the City Council,” said committee member Abby Sanders, a junior. “We have the ability to shape and mold it.”

Although the committee is giving a voice to the youth, Sanders points out that there is still room for growth and improvement.

“We can always strive to do better,” Sanders said. “We are building the foundation to get that done.”

Many of the YAC members look forward to the coming events hosted by the committee, hoping to reach out to other teens in the Belmont community.

“I think it’s so easy for teens to become apathetic and disengaged. I’d love to ensure that they stay connected and excited about their community,” Wakefield said.