When we discuss community planning, too often we forget that our community’s youth are our community’s future. This month, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins reports on Esquimalt’s efforts to reach out to youth and to ensure that youth voices are being heard and understood by our community’s leaders.
Mayor’s Monthly Musings by Barb Desjardins
e = Esquimalt youth. You Rock!
We all have the opportunity to rent our position within the community or to own it. It does not cost money to take these different positions; it merely takes a commitment to be engaged. This is what we want for our youth.
Our community has a tremendous resource within our youth. Esquimalt values youth. Did you know the municipality has a youth strategy? Did you know that council has amended its committee structure to ensure youth participation? Did you know that our Parks and Recreation fees and charges subsidize youth by 50%? Did you know that our library is one of the busiest in the region?
I have had the pleasure of meeting with students at Esquimalt High School over the past two years as well as meeting with the principals of all of the Esquimalt schools. The collaboration between the municipality and the school community is tremendous. It speaks to the value we, as a community, place on our children and youth of today, the leaders of the future.
Two years ago, Esquimalt High started a curling academy. This offered the opportunity for students to increase their skill in this particular sport, while attending school. The program has grown and has already shown its ability to raise the bar for the sport of curling with our youth giving excellent showing within the curling competitions at the junior level.
This school year marks the first year for the Rockheights Hockey Academy and it is a huge success. I am sure this program will grow in similar fashion to curling. In fact, I invite you to view a video made about this program by clicking here .
This year, committees of council have several youth representatives. They are participating in assisting council to reach its goals set out within our strategic plan. Esquimalt youth are engaged in directing their own future.
ETC, Youth only Friday Night at the Rec center, are initiatives that speak to Esquimalt’s recognition for safe places and activities for youth within our municipality.
Could we do more? Absolutely, and with their help, future initiatives will be as successful as the ones I have mentioned.
e = Esquimalt youth. You Rock!
Respectfully submitted by:
Mayor, Township of Esquimalt (To provide input on this topic, email Mayor Desjardins at email@example.com or post a comment on this blog).
Join Mayor Desjardins on FaceBook at this link.
Editor’s note: On April 21, Esquimalt’s Youth Services team is hosting a Community Forum on Youth Services to help develop an Esquimalt Youth Strategy. The meeting will be held at the Esquimalt Recreation Centre on Thursday, April 21, 7pm-8 pm. The question being asked: We would like to hear your thoughts, concerns and kudos in regards to Youth Services in Esquimalt. What are we doing well and what can we improve on? For more information, please contact: Vicki Klyne, Community Services Programmer, Tel: 250-412-8511.