The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC) is holding a Youth Forum at the Niagara Falls Fun Zone on Wed. May 9 to give a voice to the city’s high school students.
Sonia Aggarwal, a 17-year-old student at Saint Paul Catholic High School said the goal is to let youth stand up and be vocal about what is important to them.
For students who aren't involved in extracurricular activities, she said there isn’t enough opportunity to contribute opinions to what’s happening in their community.
“This youth forum gives them the chance to do that.”
The Grade 11 student has been a member of MYAC for two years and serves as chair of its Youth Voice sub-committee.
She has been planning Wednesday’s forum with the help of a small team since December.
Bianca Marcella, 17, another Saint Paul Catholic High School student and member of MYAC, said she thinks it’s a great event and an important opportunity for youth to participate in society.
Beth Angle, community development coordinator of recreation and culture for the City of Niagara Falls, works as a staff liaison to help MYAC develop and implement its plans.
According to Angle, the forum will open with key-note motivational speaker, magician and coach Brandon Love before breaking off into discussion rotations.
The discussions will be organized into seven stations tackling a variety of topics – the library, transportation, living in Niagara, recreation and culture, public health, MYAC and an open discussion.
Each station will feature experts in the industry along with two MYAC members.
Twenty pre-selected students from each of the five high schools in Niagara Falls will be broken into groups to rotate through the stations, engaging in discussions guided by a mediator.
The groups each get a break for 10 minutes of fun and laser tag.
Councillors Kim Craitor, Wayne Campbell, Carolynn Ioannoni, Joyce Morocco, Mike Strange, Wayne Thompson, Victor Pietrangelo, regional council member Selina Volpatti and mayor Jim Diodati will join the forum after lunch for an interactive question-answer session.
Diodati will also give the closing presentation.
For more information about MYAC, click here.
Wednesday’s youth forum is sponsored by Niagara Falls Fun Zone, who provided the venue and fun-zone rotation at no charge.