TEMPLE, Texas (KWTX) — The city of Temple announced last year the creation of a youth advisory board to engage more teens in the city. Now the group has been meeting for several months, and they are working to make a difference in their city.
Matthew Perez and Jillyan Willette are juniors at Temple High School, and both students said they joined because they wanted to learn more about the city and give back to their communities.
Perez is the chairman of the commission while Willette is vice-chairman. They said the group of 12 other students makes for a diverse group and it’s nice to hear other people’s opinions on what to do in the area. The commission focuses on projects that will make the city a better place, but also benefit the youth of the community.
Perez said they also wanted to involve the community.
“Our goal is simply to create opportunities, and we hope the city and citizens will take advantage of that,” Perez said. “We are only 14, we can’t do much. We would like the city to be involved in our commission as well.
One of the projects that Perez and Willette hope the community will get involved in is their little free library project. The plan is to place the libraries in neighborhoods around the city. Neighborhoods could apply for a library, which they would fill and maintain.
“To be able to put that over there for kids who might not be able to go to the library every time or just too eager to go talk to a librarian, they can over there, pick up a book and bring it home,” Willette said. . “I think it’s really nice.”
No matter what they’re working on, Perez and Willette said it’s exciting to be able to turn their voices into action.
“We can move forward to make it real action, whether it’s a project or a program,” Perez said. “It’s really cool to be able to have a voice in something you want, and then you can do that too.”
“It gives us a chance to show everyone you know, everyone – adults, kids, teens,” Willette said. “Take them seriously. We are not someone to ignore.
The YAC program is app-based and is available to all teens who live within the city limits, whether they attend public school, private school, or are homeschooled. More information is available on the city’s website.
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