The Castlegar Youth Council

Youth council trying to make a difference

Something different is going on in Room 213 at Stanley Humphries Secondary school.

Betsy Kline

 

Castlegar News

 

Something different is going on in Room 213 at Stanley Humphries Secondary school. Every Wednesday at lunch hour you will find a group of students clustered around a table in the center of the room. These students aren’t here for detention, but rather something quite the opposite.

This is a meeting of the Castlegar Youth Council, an enthusiastic group of young volunteers who want to make a difference in their community. After everyone arrives, a runner is sent to the cafeteria to pick up lunches for all. As soon as the food arrives and everyone is settled in, the conversation and brainstorming begin in earnest.

The reasons the students got involved in the council are varied, but run on a similar theme. Hannah Johnstone was drawn by the acceptance found in the group.

“I got involved with the youth council because I really like the atmosphere in here,” she says. “Being here with all of my friends is a really good environment for me.”

Adrian West has been involved since the very first meeting. “I joined the youth council because I wanted to make a difference in the community and make this a better place for teenagers,” she says.

The group feels empowered through seeing their ideas come to life and accomplishing things as a group they could not accomplish individually.

According to Chloe Sirges, the highlights include: “Celebrating differences in ability, in individuality, and bringing it all together in one group.”

The teens would like to see the group’s nonjudgemental attitude spread to the older members of the community.

Hannah Johnstone said: “Don’t judge us by the way we look. Get to know us first.” Adrian West added: “A lot of adults put labels and harsh words associated with teenagers with dyed hair, skinny jeans, tattoos and piercings.”

The group has blossomed from its original eight members to a core group of about 20, however over 75 youth have participated in the council’s various activities and events.

The group is mentored by Zoe MacKay, the type of adult who can offer acceptance, support and guidance at the same time. She is assisted by University of Victoria child and youth care practicum student, Michelle Postnikoff.

The council is part of a four-year pilot project run by Castlegar and District Community Services and funded by Columbia Basin Trust with additional support from the Vancouver Foundation.

The Castlegar Youth Council defines itself as a progressive, youth-driven organization, providing activities and resources for local youth of all abilities, cultures and economic status. It is open to youth between the ages of 12 and 19. Beyond the Wednesday lunch meetings, there are usually two other activities each week.

 

Unfortunately, after months of planning and hard work, the Youth Arts and Talent event scheduled for last Saturday had to be postponed due to storms passing through the area. Look for an announcement of the rescheduled date. The event promises to showcase some talented artists and bright minds.

 

 

Just Posted

Few details released after body discovered in car trunk

Police say they know the owner of the burnt-out Honda found near Genelle with a body in the trunk.

Movie filmed in Castlegar opens Friday

Hollow in the Land starring Dianna Agron will be playing at the Kootenay Centre Cinemas.

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Spike in vehicle thefts from remote parking lots

RCMP investigating half-a-dozen incidents

Castlegar weekend forecast calls for wet snow, mild temperatures

Wet snow and unseasonably mild temperatures are in the forecast for Castlegar this weekend.

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Dryer incident at Teck Elkview Operations

Locals report hearing loud bang

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Brother of B.C. teen killed by stray bullet says the death left a void

Alfred Wong, 15, was gunned down in Vancouver while on his way home from dinner with his family

New Denver emergency ward to remain 24/7

Interior Health says it’s postponing changes to operating hours.

Honouring our best during Minor Hockey Week

Team photos from our minor hockey association teams in Castlegar.

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

Most Read