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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Holladay Youth Council gets teens involved in government

Oct 27, 2016 04:36PM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]


Teens are getting involved in local government through the Holladay Youth Council. The council is made up of teen residents who help out at city-sponsored events as well as get a hands-on experience of how local government works. 

Jordan Tempest, a 16-year-old who attends Olympus High School, heard about the youth council through a friend and is currently in her second year with the council. 

“I think (the council does) a lot of important things and they are really involved in the community,” Jordan said. “They talk about really active stuff, which is really cool for me to learn about because I never would have known about the park coming up otherwise.”

According to Jordan, the role of the youth council is to get kids more involved in the community and more active in society. 

“You learn so much about the city. The mayor comes in and talk about what laws are being passed and what our views are on it,” Tempest said. “It’s also fun because we get to give input and say what we want in the city. If there was something that we want changed, we can actually have a voice and do something about it.”

Jordan said her favorite activity the youth council participates in is the Sub for Santa event that happens in December. 

“We went and picked out all the stuff that the little boy wanted,” Jordan said. “It was really awesome to know we were making a difference in someone’s Christmas.”

Rebecca Lunt, another 16-year-old who attends Olympus High School, also finds Sub for Santa to be her favorite youth council activity.

“We gather gifts for different kids and then we wrap them and send them to them,” Rebecca said. “We’re doing the city Trunk or Treat again this year. The police help and we inform all of the elementary schools.”

This is Rebecca’s third year on the youth council, joining when she was in the ninth grade. She said she loves helping people and being involved in the community.“The youth council is meant to help us understand how a city is run and what goes into it and all the different work and to help us be involved in the community and help other people,” Rebecca said. 

Sixteen-year-old Ben Denlis became involved with the youth council after his older brother told him what a great experience he had with the council. Ben said he believes the role of the youth council is to give teens a voice in the community. 

“Having a voice in things because the youth are in the background of things with their parents voting so it’s kind of fun to have a voice and have input in things in the city,” Ben said. 

While being on the youth council is a time commitment, Jordan said the leaders are flexible and forgiving if members are unable to attend all the events. 

“You want to do everything,” Jordan said. “You want to do it all but being a high school student, you can’t sometimes and it’s hard knowing that you’re missing out on so many cool things.”