LaGrange Youth Council to expand

Published 11:00 am Friday, May 31, 2024

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The LaGrange Youth Advisory Council may soon be expanding.

The City of LaGrange is looking to expand its Youth Advisory Council from 24 members to 32 members because of increasing interest in participation.

The city council discussed the youth program during their work session on Tuesday, tentatively agreeing to modify the bylaws of the leadership group to allow more members.

Mayor Jim Arrington said that over the last couple of years, they have been turning away about 15 to 20 kids every year who want to participate.

“We just felt like the program has increased to the point now where we really need to add a few more to it,” Arrington said.

Traditionally, the council is made up of 12 high school seniors and 12 juniors. The juniors can stay on for a second year, so only a dozen new spots typically open up each year. Organizers are hoping to open up more by expanding the roster to 32 members.

Created in 2015, the LaGrange Youth Advisory Council teaches and promotes youth participation in local government to local high school students. Members of the council meet with city officials to build leadership skills, learn how local government works and become productive citizens.

Each year the youth council plans, sponsors and coordinates programs, activities and events within LaGrange to better the community.

Recent projects include hosting a pickleball tournament to help collect books for the Jungle Bus. The council was able to collect a total of 212 books as a result of the event.

In another project, the Youth Council showcased the cultural diversity in the LaGrange community by creating short-form cooking videos. 

The videos, which are available on social media, featured dishes and their cultural significance from countries like Jamaica, Korea, Greece, Ghana and Israel.

A first reading for an ordinance to expand the council to 32 members was held at the mayor and council meeting on Tuesday, May 21. A vote to approve the change is expected at the June 11 meeting.