By Staff Reports
(Apple Valley)– As many as 55 children will experience free swim lessons this spring thanks to a vote from a student-run Town Council meeting held during the Mayor’s Youth Leadership Summit earlier this month.
The mock council meeting, held on November 9, was the culmination of a day designed to give local students a look inside local government through hands-on workshops, a Town Hall Tour, interaction with town staff and networking with council members.
“It is our responsibility to encourage and promote the services we provide to our residents, this includes the students in our community,” said Mayor Scott Nassif. “These mature, young adults who apply their knowledge in a local government agency are acquiring the skills to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Launched in 2014 by then mayor Art Bishop, it has grown in popularity with students vying for an opportunity to participate. This year’s event included 40 high school juniors from the Academy for Academic Excellence, Apple Valley High School, Granite Hills High School, Apple Valley Christian School, High Desert Premier Academy and Excelsior Charter School.
The students were divided into six teams that worked with Town staff on a project proposal not to exceed $1,000 in funding. During the mock council meeting, students presented the projects to their peers on the mock council for a vote to be considered for actual funding by the real Town Council at its December 12 meeting. For the second year in a row, students voted to fund a swim lesson program in the Park and Recreation Department for low-income and at-risk youth. Other programs considered included a free e-waste pickup for senior citizens, a microchip grant program for pets, and a local awareness campaign for graffiti and other related challenges.
“The Spring Break Swim Lesson program allows the Town to deliver lifesaving skills to underprivileged youth in Apple Valley that would otherwise not be afforded the opportunity,” said Parks and Recreation Manager Ralph Wright.
For more information on the Town of Apple Valley and the Park and Recreation Department visit www.applevalley.org