New youth council sworn in
Local teenagers are sworn in as members of the South Salt Lake Youth Council. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)
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By Kelly Cannon | email@example.com
Thirteen local teenagers were sworn in to the South Salt Lake Youth Council during the City Council meeting on Jan. 11. City Recorder Craig Burton first swore in the leader of the group, Mayor Aaron Dustin and then the second in command, Mayor pro tem Saida Dahir before swearing in the rest of the group.
“We’ve got a great group of young people to swear in for our Youth City Council,” Burton said.
During the official swearing ceremony, members of the youth council promise not only to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States but also the Constitution of the State of Utah. They also promise to perform their duties with fidelity.
According to the South Salt Lake City website, the role of the youth council is to provide service to the city while also teaching the teens about local government. The members speak at city council meetings, shadow employees and sit on advisory board.
After the swearing in, Councilman Ben Pender thanked the members of the youth council for getting involved in the council and in their city.
“You really are our future. This is wonderful to see and very humbling to see how many people have interest in it, again, knowing you are going to be our future leaders,” Pender said. “Thank you very much.”
Later in the meeting, Mayor Cherie Wood also praised the youth council. Wood said she recently had the opportunity to spend time with both Dustin and Daher.
“The goals they have in place and what they’re trying to accomplish in their lives, they’re amazing,” Wood said. “I know you (councilmembers) don’t get to see that part of them but I want to thank them for the service they do in the community.”
Wood also recognized Edward Lopez, the advisor of the youth council.
“Edward has done amazing work with this group of kids,” Wood said. “Edward has a lot of energy and is perfect for helping these youth navigate their way through our community, their schools and help them plan their next steps for college.”
Dustin and Daher addressed the city council to talk about what the youth council has done in the past and the new things the council plans on doing for this year.
“South Salt Lake has had a wonderful time this holiday season,” Dustin said. “The Angel Tree and Sub-4-Santa program along with United Way gift cards, we were able to spread cheer to over 50 families. That included over 200 individuals.”
Dustin said these programs wouldn’t have been possible without contributions from their partners, committees and community members, as well as many local businesses.
Daher listed some of the gifts given by the youth council, including Xboxes and other game consoles with games, a laptop, a crib, a hoverboard, bicycles, toys, games, winter clothing, toiletries and household necessities.
Dustin said he and other members of the youth council were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and hoped they could continue to support each other every day.
“Thanks again for helping us to make the holiday season extra special for our South Salt Lake families, and we hope for continuing support.”
Daher explained to the council what the youth council plans to do in the upcoming months.
“In the following months, in addition to our volunteer efforts in city events in the community, we will be partnering with the YMCA Youth and Government program for a free 12-session course,” Daher said. “The curriculum teaches bill writing, public speaking, legislative debate rules, legislative research, leadership and team work. We look forward to learning more about the ins and outs of the government and what we can do to make a difference as leaders of tomorrow.”