New Youth Council in Crescenta Valley

By Brandon HENSLEY

Somewhere along the way, the kids weren’t alright.  The youth in La Crescenta felt their voices weren’t being heard, and so this year marks the start of new local group that focuses on issues for young people.

In January, the first meeting of the CV Town Council Youth Board was held, marking the start of what some hope to be a productive endeavor.

CV Town Councilmember Harry Leon is one of the adults in the community who felt this was a worthy cause.

“I promised that I would assemble and connect all the youth together, so the purpose of that is to listen to the concerns of the youth in our area,” said Leon.

The idea was to get young adults who are active in clubs like CV Prom Plus Club and other organizations “all under one umbrella,” according to Leon.

The board meets on the fourth Thursday of every month at St. Luke’s of the Mountains. There are nine students on the board, and a couple of adults like Leon are always present. CVHS senior Aimee Yeghiayan is the board president, and said the issues they will focus on will concern those not only in high school but also in middle school.

“The board was formed because it was decided the youth didn’t have a voice in the community and the adults, even though they tried hard, they couldn’t understand what we needed and what we wanted.”

Yeghiayan said a key issue this school year that she feels students have been frustrated with is the lunch policy at CV, where the district has considered closing the campus during that hour.

“Most of the students agreed that the campus should stay open and there wasn’t a way to voice that opinion,” she said.

CV senior Molly Shelton will act a liaison to the Town Council’s monthly meetings. The vice president for the board is James Owen, also a CV senior.

“I know that he’s going to be a really good person to work with and that he has a different perspective than a lot of the other [kids],” Yeghiayan said. Owens has participated in CV athletics during his high school career, and Yeghiayan said that is where his experience will be helpful.

“A lot of people on the council see it through academics and things like that. He just adds a different side of it,” she said.

Leon said the board is looking to form bonds with other youth councils in La Cañada and L.A.

“We’re stretching our wings to them and they’re stretching theirs to us,” he added.

Yeghiayan said in working with Leon, she can see his passion for improving the community.

“He really does care, and he’s advocating for the kids,” she said.

“I want my community to be a strong community and our youth are our treasure,” Leon said. “If we can preoccupy them with these activities they can take responsibility for the future. … It makes a big difference on their resumes if they tackle these big obstacles and it reflects on them in a positive way.”