FAIRBORN — City of Fairborn officials hope to reach out to youth within the community. To make it possible, the city is considering implementing a group of young individuals to work with city employees on various projects.
Mayor Dan Kirkpatrick said the youth is the future, and he is hoping to engage them accordingly.
At a council work session held on Monday evening, Beavercreek resident and Wright State University student Ryan Rushing, who is currently running for a position on the Beavercreek City Council, acts as the chair of the City of Beavercreek Board of Zoning Appeals and serves as the president of the Beavercreek High School Alumni Association, spoke on behalf of the Beavercreek Youth Council regarding how participating in such a group has benefited him thus far in his career. In addition to his leadership positions, Rushing serves on the University Board of Trustees at WSU, Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce, Beavercreek Young Professionals group, as well as the TedxDayton Speaker’s and upDayton Advocacy Committees.
“I’m quite young, but I’ve achieved a great deal and I credit a lot of that success and my ambition to do more with my time and give back to one organization that I was very proud to be a part of – and one I think would be very beneficial to Fairborn to take a look at and potentially create – and that is a youth council,” Rushing said.
The city of Beavercreek created the Youth Council through the Youth Development Committee in 2004, which is made up of 11 members who serve as community leaders on various boards, departments and organizations, and act as advisors to the Youth Council. Rushing said the Youth Development Committee additionally facilitate a connection between the youth of the community and the city government.
“They (Youth Development Committee) give them (Youth Council) a pipeline in terms of giving them that leadership experience, and the know-how and want to give back,” he said. “When I moved here in 2008, I found this organization. It really gave me the tools to get energized and excited about giving back to the community and serve.”
The Youth Council in Beavercreek is comprised of middle and high school students who focus on civic services for the community. They participate in various volunteer activities, such as painting faded items on the local bike path, organizing fundraisers, as well as promoting and participating in Make a Difference Day.
“The Youth Council is a place where we can come together and have young folks be able to interact and network,” Rushing said. “It also gives them a chance to give back, so it instills the importance of civics and community service.”
He added that the intentional outcomes of the group include creating the next group of community leaders, promoting growth and residency, advocating economic development and paying it forward.
Kirkpatrick asked Rushing for a copy of the ordinance that ultimately created Beavercreek’s Youth Development Committee, and asked to work with him to develop such a group. Attendees of the meeting considered recruitment options upon developing a youth council.
The city may utilize the honors programs and student council at the local schools, and may consider recommendations from school leaders if the youth council surfaces. They hope to include a mixture of students within the group.
“Our youth is the future of this community,” Kirkpatrick said. “I see this as a chance to step forward and engage, mentor, guide and give them some assistance in understanding what we do and how we do it – and maybe [the youth will] choose to be a part of it.”