Members play a leadership role in addressing youth issues in the Basin
The Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) is a group of involved youth from around the Columbia Basin who provide advice to CBT and a youth perspective on a variety of issues facing today's youth. Members - called "YACers" - commit to a one-year term and have an opportunity to meet, work and travel with a group of like-minded young people.
"We work with youth and communities to increase youth opportunities and engagement," said Michelle d'Entremont, CBT Youth Liaison. "Being a member of YAC is a great way for youth to develop their leadership skills, engage with CBT and provide input on issues that are important to them."
Welcome to new members: Curtis Bendig (Nelson), Darelyn Hutchinson (Cranbrook), Laura Kanik (Revelstoke), Paniz Khosroshahy (Cranbrook), James Klemmensen (Rossland), Danika Reid (Cranbrook), Bailey Repp (Nelson), Wesley Routley (Golden) and Theresa Thoms (Castlegar).
The new members are excited about joining YAC and looking forward to making a difference in their communities.
"To me, being on YAC is so different from any other club or team," said Bailey Repp of Nelson. "Being able to provide and empower other youth with huge opportunities to drive change has to be one of the best feelings one can have."
"I am very passionate about youth issues and work hard in my community to give youth a voice," said Darelyn Hutchinson of Cranbrook. "It's a wonderful feeling to get to be a part of the decision-making process with youth grants, and the fun process of inspiring youth and getting inspired myself."
Laura Panik of Revelstoke added, "I am truly excited by this opportunity. I see YAC as an opportunity to use my skills and enthusiasm to contribute to my community while also developing my skills. Win-win!"
Welcome back to returning members: Sierra Franklin (Canal Flats), Blake Nicol (Nelson) and Taryn Walker (Revelstoke). What did past YACers have to say to new members?
"You will be surprised by the welcoming feel the YAC committee has to it and how quickly you become part of the group," said Blake Nicol of Nelson. "Before you know it, you will find yourself having a great time!"
Said Taryn Walker of Revelstoke, "Through YAC you feel more confident about your ability to give meaningful input. You find yourself stepping outside of yourself and considering others' perspectives while developing skills you never knew you were capable of."
Prospective YACers go through an application process and are selected to volunteer on the committee by the previous year's committee members. The commitment involves a weekend meeting every two months, which includes the review of Columbia Basin Youth Grants applications - a task that is unique to this CBT advisory committee to further promote the active engagement of youth in regional decision-making processes.
CBT supports youth and communities through a range of programs such as the Community Directed Youth Funds and Columbia Basin Youth Grants, as well as by providing a forum for Basin youth to share their art, ideas and experiences with each other through SCRATCH magazine. Visit www.cbt.org/youth for more details.