On Monday, September 19, the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) held its first meeting for the 2011-2012 school year. Led by YAC Coordinator Kristen Garrett and the council’s president, Yein Ha, a junior at Broad Run High School, the meeting was able to successfully create a basis for the foundation on which the program will be run.
YAC is an organization made up of high school students from across Loudoun County that come together and work on important, county-wide issues and events. “We are the SCA of the community,” said Ha. “We are the board of governors.”
The YAC is a group of student leaders. This year, they will be led by Ha, vice president Mark Bland, a senior at Woodgrove High School (HS), president of public relations Kendra Austin, a senior at Stone Bridge HS, secretary Fatima Khan, a senior at Loudoun County HS, and treasurer Christine O’Mara, a senior at Loudoun Valley HS.
At meeting, YAC members were divided into five different committees: community service, Youth Fest, communications, fundraising, and special events. “Every group had its own ideas [for the upcoming year],” said Khan.
Through working together, YAC members are able to share a close bond with students who they may not have met otherwise. “One of the great things [is] that people make friends with students from different schools,” said Garrett.
“We’re very family-like,” said Ha. “I’ve made some of my best friends through YAC.”
James Castro, a junior at Park View and a member of the communications committee, thinks that the bonds members share are important “so that the community can be served.”
An upcoming event that YAC is involved with is called “Let’s Move!” which is First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama’s health initiative. “Teenagers get to go in and interact with the younger kids and interact with the community,” Garrett said. At this event, there will be a race, healthy snacks and healthy recipes, and information for parents on the importance of healthy dieting. More information can be found at #website# and www.letsmove.gov .
One of the biggest events that YAC puts on is Youth Fest. Bands come here to play, and different vendors set up kiosks for potential customers. Last year, the rock band, The Maine, was the headlining performance.
YAC is a program of the Loudoun County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Community Services (PRCS). YAC is also a part of Loudoun Youth, Inc., a nonprofit organization. More information about these services can be found at www.loudoun.gov/prcs/ and www.loudounyouth.org .
For more information about YAC, please visit www.loudounteens.org and follow us on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.