STNC Youth and Adult Education Committee hold Inaugural Meeting
On Thursday night, January 6, 2022, the Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council held their first meeting of the year via zoom and discussed the role of a Youth and Adult Education Committee (YAEC) and the possible methods of attempting to reach out and get more youth involved in their community events. Headed by Lallah Rowe (Chairperson), the objective of the meeting became very clear; how do we get in touch with the youth of the community and how do we get them interested in participating in community events? Another thing that became very clear very early on in the meeting; the role of the current Covid pandemic and the limitations it has brought to such attempts and such events.
First on the list of objectives was the nomination of a youth to serve as a committee member. Ms. Rowe described the minimum guideline to be someone at least 16 years of age. Unfortunately there were no leads for anyone to fit this role at this time. The discussion then turned to methods to simply get the youth interested.
The next topic discussed was upcoming events and the role of social media as methods to gain traction with the community and it’s youth. The discussion naturally led to the Covid pandemic, which is still very much alive and limiting the options of possible events. Events needing to be placed in an outdoor setting seemed to be a common understanding among the Council. Then came the uncertainty of even getting these events off the ground because of the enduring pandemic. The possibility of holding events via zoom and through social media outlets then became a topic that seemed more accessible and attainable for the time being. Uncertainty because of the pandemic became a recurring and understandable theme.
Previously approved activities that the Council was working on getting going are now up in the air pending the next few weeks or months, however long it may take in regards to the role Covid plays in the decision making process. Previously approved programs such as the basketball program, speechcraft program, and drug education program all had to be put on hold for the time being. It was even shared that church events have all been postponed with the exception of religious services, specifically. The focus then turned back to the involvement of the youth.
The establishment of a Youth Council program became a focal point that garnered some heavy discussion and suggestions from committee members. It was shared that the Council should reach out to high school students in leadership programs or even give them the incentive that participating in community events could count as volunteer credits and look good on college applications. Committee member, Lydia Grant, shared her past experience with Verdugo Hills High School and having been involved with their Youth Council. Ms. Grant stressed the importance of letting their voice be heard. The importance of letting them have their platform. The importance of having the youth set up their meetings, within their community, discuss issues important to them, and get them involved in that pillar of change and influence. Ms. Grant described activities the Youth Council would do, such as charity work, hold dances where all were welcomed, and overall very inclusive events that only heightened the community morale and the involvement of its youth. Again, the focus turned briefly to the limitations brought on as a byproduct of the pandemic. This did lead to the discussion of the need to reach out to other committees to learn together and work together and that became the next topic of discussion. The most accessible and attainable means of doing this again; social media.
The STNC does have a facebook page. It is called, “Sunland-Tujunga Neighborhood Council Youth” and that sparked the discussion of using that page a little more vigorously to get youth involved. Ms. Grant mentioned how she posted activities and links for activities that could keep families busy during the pandemic and suggested utilizing the page more with upcoming events and more interactive content to get youth and families interested, which in turn would lead to success within the Council and their goal to get youth involved and represented in the community. Committee members then suggested the importance of social media and brainstormed ideas such as tutorial videos produced by committee members to post on YouTube and as links to be posted on the Facebook page and other social media outlets to heighten the profile of the Council. This seemed to spark joyful enthusiasm from the committee. With that, Ms. Rowe set aside objectives to get the committee members involved in following up on the bullet points hit during the meeting.
Considering the uncertainty caused by the pandemic and the pause button put on events, the focus was set on working on connecting via social media and creating content that caters to the community’s youth. Another goal is reaching out to other committees and attempting to work together to get any events going, depending on the upcoming months and what is possible during this climate. On that note, with everybody in agreement and no other issues were brought up at the time, this meeting of the YAEC came to a close.
The next committee meeting takes place on Thursday, February 3, 2022.