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The City Journals

Teens Thrive in Youth Council

Sep 29, 2016 10:29AM ● By Kelly Cannon

Cottonwood Heights Youth Council Mayor Scott Woolston addresses the rest of the youth council in the city council chambers. (Kelly Cannon/City Journals)

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected] 

Cottonwood Heights, Utah - Cottonwood Heights residents attending city functions may notice a small army of teen volunteers helping to ensure the event goes off without a hitch. The group of high schoolers is the Cottonwood Heights Youth Council. Led by Councilmember Scott Bracken, the group volunteers at city events, helps assist the community and learns more about civic duty.

The youth council has been around since 2005. The current youth council formed in May of this year. Sixteen-year-old Annie Kaufman, who attends Brighton High School, joined the group this year. Annie is the public relations officer for the youth council. Her role is to document what the council does throughout the year. 

“We help the community grow and come together and have fun,” Annie said. “We feel like we’re a part of a larger thing.”

So far, the Cottonwood Heights Youth Council has helped the city by volunteering at Butlerville Days in July and the Cottonwood Canyon Marathon in May. 

“We volunteered by helping set up the event, helped the vendors and helped with the activities,” Annie said.

In October, the youth council will help at the city’s annual pumpkin carving event. In December, they’ll visit patients at Primary Children’s Hospital.

“We like to come up with things that are fun to do but also make us feel like we’re actually doing something,” Annie said.

Annie said her favorite part about being on the Cottonwood Heights Youth Council is going to the events with friends while helping the community.

Fifteen-year-old Margaret Selfridge joined the youth council after Bracken came to her middle school to recruit members. Margaret, who now attends Hillcrest High School, serves as the deputy public relations officer for the council. 

“I love to serve since I was little and I thought it was a great opportunity,” Margaret said. “It helps us get to know the community more and helps with events in the city.” 

Margaret described the youth council as being a force behind the scenes that no one knows about, helping out at events such as the Monster Mash and the Easter egg hunt. Margaret said the youth council is a great opportunity for teens because it’s a way for them to become more involved with their community and learn more about their local government. 

“I love everything about the youth council,” Margaret said. “I get a taste of different careers and I get to serve the community.”

To learn more about the youth council, visit