Surprise, AZ (January 16, 2015) The Surprise Youth Council (SYC) was brought to life last night when 25 Surprise youth were sworn into the new leadership group, which will help guide decisions affecting the city’s young people.
The swearing-in ceremony followed a reception in City Hall where the 6-11 graders heard from Mayor Sharon Wolcott and Vice Mayor John Williams, who both stressed the importance of this new council.
“We want our young residents to enjoy living here not only while they’re growing up, but also in the future as working adults,” says Mayor Wolcott. “Thus, it’s vital that we provide our youth with an active voice in helping shape Surprise for the benefit of future generations. This new group will provide them with that opportunity.”
SYC leadership positions will be modeled after City Council, with a youth mayor, vice mayor and committee chairs. Officers will take turns holding a non-voting seat at the Dias during City Council meetings.
After City Council approved the formation of SYC in October, the city began outreach to students at local schools and those interested submitted a video application.
“The applications revealed that our youth want to be engaged, want to make a difference, and they see real opportunities to impact our community—from arts to drug prevention to youth engagement to transportation,” says Vice Mayor John Williams, who helped lead the formation of the council. “They want to be part of the decisions; they want a shared role in building our community now and in the future. These bright young minds want that responsibility; we need to give it to them, we need to listen to them! It will be exciting to see how they help shape Surprise.”
The new SYC representatives include: 8th Grade Jada Henderson, Arizona Charter Academy and 9th Grade Mikayla Barrera, Arizona Charter Academy.