Board of Directors Appoints 2016 Youth Commission
The District’s second Youth Commission was appointed by the Board of Directors on Dec. 9. The eight-member Commission, comprised of teens from eighth through eleventh grade, will meet monthly, develop goals for the year and advise staff on what is important to youth and teens who live and play in the area.
Serving on the Commission allows teens the opportunity to practice their skills in critical thinking, communications and creativity, while being introduced to local government and learning about the parks and recreation industry.
“While the contributions of the Youth Commission to our community are numerous, the benefits reaped by the young people offering their service can have a positive impact on them personally, now and into the future,” said JoAnn Gould, South Suburban’s Director of Recreation and Community Services.
Youth who volunteer are more likely to do well in school, graduate and vote. “Teens in the Commission say the benefits from serving in a voluntary role are: learning to respect others; learning to be helpful and kind; learning to understand people who are different; developing leadership skills; becoming more patient; and developing a better understanding of citizenship. This group is inspiring to me because the members are all passionate about serving the South Suburban community,” continued Gould.
The goals of the Commission are to discuss and suggest possible solutions about issues that young people face; to discuss and provide input about programs that are offered to teens in the community; to promote positive programs with peers; to promote healthy living, including overall physical, emotional and mental wellbeing, and to provide opportunities to develop youth as future leaders”.
The Youth Commission serves in an advisory role to the Recreation and Community Services Department, and members of the Youth Commission are selected through an application and interview process facilitated through the Youth Commission and staff liaisons. Members of the Youth Commission include:
Amelia Rhea is a 10th grader at Heritage High School and lives in Littleton. She is a second year Commissioner and a new employee at Colorado Journey.
Audrey Koenig attends Cherry Creek High school as a 10th grader and wants to expand her community involvement with the commission in her second term. While taking a class through South Suburban she discovered Irish Step Dancing and loves it! Audrey has proven her professionalism by taking the meeting minutes during all of the meetings.
Bailey Thompson attends Arapahoe High School as a 10th grader and is also a second year Commissioner. She is interested in bringing healthy initiatives to the youth of our community. On her free time, she enjoys swimming and playing lacrosse in the South Suburban high school leagues, and both indoor and outdoor for her school.
Dong-Hoon Lee is an 8th grader at Campus Middle school. This will be his first year with the commission and he looks to contribute new ideas for events suited to his age in the District.
Devon Johnson is an 11th grader at Regis High school. She is a first year commissioner and looks to give back to South Suburban after growing up utilizing many programs in the district. She is a varsity athlete in the cross country and track teams.
Elise Mutz is a 9th grader at Heritage High school. She is interested in volunteering in the community as a first year commissioner. She enjoys running cross country and skiing in her free time. She currently volunteers with kids with special needs at the local curling center.
Janie Egan is a 9th grader at Arapahoe High school. She is looking forward to being a first year commissioner and giving back to the District. She has backpacked through Alaska and plays lacrosse for her school.
Sam Hansen is an 11th grader at Arapahoe High school. As President of the first year commission, Sam is looking forward to continuing to bring more attention to youth commission participation. He is passionate about providing great customer service for the District as an employee at Colorado Journey. He enjoys working in the theater department and designing sets for his high school plays.