The Copperas Cove Youth Advisory Council is looking for a few good teens to help the city have a more proactive youth approach to its decisions.
“As community leaders, we want there to be things for kids to do, and who better to ask than those kids themselves,” said Bradi Diaz, the youth council’s parent liaison.
Diaz also serves on the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation Board, is the Copperas Cove Education Foundation president and a former city mayor.
The Youth Advisory Council, which is entering its second year, is an advisory board to the Copperas Cove City Council, but it also can conduct its own programs to bring youth activities and events to the city.
After graduation this year, the group lost seven council members and is looking to fill those positions. Currently, Copperas Cove Parks and Recreation, which sponsored the group’s creation, has just three applications from Copperas Cove children.
This group is for junior high students to high school seniors who want to represent the area’s youth, take an active role in their community and learn about local government, said Mark Willingham, with parks and recreation.
“Anyone that is concerned about what is going on in the community and what amenities are out there for the youth and those kinds of things (should apply),” Diaz said. “Youths aren’t always taken into consideration, and this is one of the things we can do to bridge that gap.”
Willingham said the inaugural year was mostly about learning. The youth council provided some programs which were well attended, including a 100-person Dive-in, a movie at the City Park Pool, for high school students.
While there was not a lot of presentations to the council this past year, Willingham said that will increase as time goes on and the group becomes more established.
“As this grows, I think the youth will get that understanding that this is their voice,” Willingham said. “This is our how our society functions. We have representatives who represent us and these teens are representing their peers. It is a way for that group to speak and a way for them to be in contact with the city council in a formal manner.”
Registration deadline for the organization is at the end of August, and the youth council will have its first meeting in September.