Gonzales youth commissioners complete summer fellowship

Gonzales Youth Council members speak to the Gonzales City Council about their activities over the summer and their experiences while on the council. (Photo by Samantha Bengtson)

Youth Council will continue work through fall with service projects

GONZALES — Over the summer Nayeli Gomez and Cindy Aguilar were part of a Youth Council Summer Fellowship program, during which they experienced working with city agencies and leading their fellow classmates who joined them as part of the Gonzales Youth Council for the 2018-19 school year.

The goal of the Youth Summer Fellowship is to support the newly appointed youth commissioners to further acquire knowledge, understanding, skills and experience they need to serve as competent advisers for the Youth Council and to effectively lead the council.

“Part of our fellowship included working with the Police Department, Fire Department, Public Works Department, Summer Camp, the Gonzales Unified School District,” Commissioner Gomez said. “Some of our action projects for the summer were taking on National Night Out, Ciclovia, the Census project, GYC orientation, GYC recruitment, Outreach, Interviews and the selection process for the new Gonzales Youth Council.”

Commissioner Aguilar spent time with the Public Works Department to conduct a leadership development session, which focused on the five dysfunctions of a team, the big “Why” and strategic planning.

Aguilar and Gomez took away several things from their summer fellowship, including learning through on-the-job training, community service learning, action project and engagement with the city allies.

This year’s Youth Council includes member Angela Rodriguez, who joined the council because she felt responsible to give back to the community and those who have helped her as she was growing up in Gonzales.

“I chose to return to the Youth Council because I have a passion for the education my peers and I receive in our local school district,” said fellow Youth Council member Madison Swizer. “In these past few months working with the Youth Council, my ‘Why’ has grown. Now my passion has grown bigger to bring resources to my peers and I; to help them know that their future is broad enough, to know they are not limited to what they think they are worthy of.”

Gonzales Youth Council will continue to make their presence known with projects, such as No Straw November and the Teen Innovation Center.

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