Applications open for the new Maui Youth Council

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Board Member Kelly Takaya King

Maui County Council is now accepting nominations for its Youth Council, an advisory body made up of local high school students established by resolution 21-199 of December 3.

Council member Kelly Takaya King introduced the resolution. She explained, “While I was at the United Nations Climate Change Conference this fall, a major concern was the lack of youth participation. The message I brought to the conference, which was reaffirmed through numerous meetings and panels, was the importance of action at the local level where national commitment falls short of what is needed. is necessary.

The Youth Council aims to ensure that the voices of young people “are heard in county government on important issues with long-term effects,” according to the resolution. The resolution notes that Maui County’s youth leaders have already taken steps to participate in civic affairs through activities such as the Global Climate Strike and the Imi Pono Challenge, inspiring all generations to engage.

“The Youth Council is a way for our county to prepare our young people to face complex problems. It will give them the skills to take action and overcome the feelings of hopelessness that have gripped some young people, ”King said.

King’s executive assistant Axel Beers will advise the Youth Council, according to King. In addition to his previous work on local political and social issues, Beers is a Certified Social Studies Professor in the State of Hawai’i with a background in Youth Development and Education.

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“I taught social sciences following the 2016 election and during the 2020 election,” Beers said. “The main issues regarding race, class, environment and social movements were in the local, state and national news, and my students and I regularly discussed these difficult topics while making connections with the programs of history and civic education.

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“It is clear from these discussions that young people are interested in the news and are looking for ways to make a difference. By engaging young people in authentic learning processes that explore current issues, we not only train the leaders of tomorrow, but we strengthen our community and our local democratic process through dialogue.

Youth council members will learn about the county’s legislative process, develop rules for the youth council, solicit policy ideas from their peers, draft policy proposals, defend and criticize bills, meet in council chamber and ultimately forward approved youth council policy recommendations to Maui County Council. .

The first Maui County Youth Council will accept programmatic recommendations from students, Children and Youth Commission members, council members and other interested community members regarding the structure and activities of the council. of youth, according to King.

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King said she invites schools and interested organizations to collaborate with the Youth Council to meet students’ requirements for credits, senior projects or other related programs to collaborate.

Applications for the Maui County Youth Council are available at mauicounty.us. Students in Maui County public and private schools in Grades 9-12 can apply.

Students will meet in virtual and in-person environments, while following COVID-19 protocols. Applications will be considered by the Children and Youth Commission, and the final cohort of Youth Council students will be established by the County Council.

Applications should be submitted to [email protected] or Youth Council c / o Council Member Kelly Takaya King, 200 S. High St., Wailuku, HI 96793. Nominations will become part of the public record and will be available for public review.

Applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. on January 31. Please contact Beers at [email protected] or 808-270-8018 for more information.


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