MUKILTEO — They’re the young generation and they have something to say.
Several students from Kamiak High School have urged the city of Mukilteo to form a youth advisory council, and the City Council is doing just that.
A Mukilteo Youth Council is being assembled, and the city is expected to appoint several teens in April.
Henna Park, 17, a senior, is thankful young people will have a greater voice.
“In our years in high school, we have seen how much we are connected to our town as young adults and students, and that our age doesn’t take away from our contributions and significance to the community — that our ideas and actions are an active part of Mukilteo,” she said.
John Oh, 18, said the campaign to get the youth panel taught him that people in high positions aren’t as scary or intimidating as he once thought. He has high hopes for the committee.
“We want to be active participants in the community we grew up in,” he said. “We want to give back and put in our efforts to build the community.”
You Jung Kim, 17, a junior, said she was inspired to pursue a youth council after attending a Pacific Northwest Key Club board meeting in Washougal toward the end of the summer. Key Clubs are the high school counterpart of Kiwanis Club and are involved in community service.
She approached the city through an e-mail and leadership students from her school. After a warm reception, the students began attending City Council meetings in November to make their case.
“By attending various council meetings, we all gained some knowledge of the workings of the city government, and since this project began in August, we all learned some patience,” she said.
Mayor Joe Marine said he looks forward to hearing ideas from the advisory committee. Its members will be able to get candid observations from young people more effectively than grown-ups can, he said.
“It certainly gives them a voice and lets us know what the youth in our city is thinking,” he said.
Applications will be available through the city’s Web site, www.ci.mukilteo.wa.us, in the next few weeks. Marine said spots will be open to youths 14 to 20 who live anywhere in the city.
Yooeun Kim, 15, a freshman, said the council will show how teenagers today aren’t just focused on dating, shopping and hanging out with friends.
“Youth council is a gateway for teenagers to become leaders and do many things in the future,” she said.
Rachel Bervell, 16, a Kamiak senior, said she has learned a lot along the way.
“It is one thing to learn about a process in my AP (college-level Advanced Placement) government class and it is another to experience that process live,” she said.
Reporter Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, email@example.com.