By Camryn Flores
Every year, the Sugar Hill Youth Council gets the opportunity to attend Mayor’s Day along with our mayor and council members. People from municipalities across the state gather to discuss problems and advancements they have been having in their city, and the youth councils also get the chance to meet other young people with similar interests as them.
On the first day, the youth councils got the opportunity to listen to panelists that were young leaders in their communities, and we were able to hear how they moved up the political ladder and made their own brand at such a young age. We were able to see that although we were young, we were able to make a difference. That night, all the youth councils were treated to dinner and a night of arcade games, and we were able to make new friends and learn what other youth programs were doing in their communities.
On the second day, most youth councils spent their morning attending a seminar on leadership skills, but my council chose to attend the policy meetings that all the mayors and council members were attending. In these meetings, we learned about problems municipalities across the state were having, and how they went about fixing them. We attending meetings ranging in topics from environmental issues to public safety, and in each one we were able to learn more about WHY cities do what they do, and how.
The rest of our weekend was filled with countless networking opportunities. We were able to listen to debates including candidates running for lieutenant governor as well as governor, and we were able to spend hours on end discussing what we heard from those debates. Mayor’s Day was an exciting opportunity, and I learned more than I ever thought I could about municipality and how local government works. Also, getting to hear about what other youth councils do in their communities and having the opportunity to share experiences was compelling. It showed me that we are a select few within the state, but we are all working towards the same great purpose: to increase youth involvement in our cities.