TROY — The students who have been tapped to serve on the Mayor’s Youth Council have their own ideas on how their town could flourish.
Mayor Michael Beamish’s annual youth council, comprised of local fifth- and sixth-grade students, recently provided their input on what they believed their city is doing right and what could be improved upon during a recent session.
While completely out of the city’s control, it is the lack of air conditioning in their classrooms — which students still have on the forefront of their minds after many snow days — when they were asked “How can Troy be improved?”
The majority of youth council members aren’t fans of sweating while they study and noted the lack of air conditioning in their schools was on the top of their list of much needed improvements in their beloved town.
Other areas they noted needed some work: accessible gifted classes for all, a bigger library, an improved skate park, “allow bees in the city,” school lunch salads, street hockey areas and a “gaga” pit (a modern take on dodge ball), a larger junior football program, programming and code classes, better traffic enforcement of traffic laws for safety, more school buildings and fishing ponds. Other suggestions were adding elevators in schools, bike trail connectivity, intersection improvements, less smoking areas, an archery range, less homework, school lunches as a whole and to bring back old activities to the Troy Strawberry Festival.
Students were asked, “What is good about Troy?” and their answers overwhelming supported the Troy-Miami County Library was the place to be in their world. Other popular responses were Hobart Arena, small businesses, restaurants, their own Mayor’s Youth Council, sports fields and The Rec. Students also stated the city’s parks, downtown architecture, festivals, small-sized community, after-school activities, nice people and live performances, Downtown Trick or Treat, Hayner and the Mayflower Arts Center were golden in their eyes to round out the list.
Several members of the Mayor’s Youth Council enjoyed an afternoon of ice skating at Hobart Arena last Wednesday, another perk of serving on the council.
“I liked sharing my ideas during our strategic session,” said Colin Lynch, 11, of Concord Elementary. “A lot of us said air conditioning in schools because it gets hot in the summer.”
Lynch said he likes serving on the Mayor’s Youth Council because, “I like helping the city of Troy.” Lynch said he also enjoyed playing bingo with seniors at the Troy Senior Citizens Center.
Kendall Kerber, 10, a student at Concord Elementary, said she enjoyed the council’s annual Super Bowl party held at the Troy Rec.
“We got to play games and watch the game at The Rec,” she said. Kerber also said the lack of air conditioning in school was a needed area of improvement.
“It gets really warm in our classroom in the summer,” Kerber, the daughter of city law director Grant Kerber who also serves as an adviser for the youth group.
Grace Davis, 11, said her favorite part of participating on the council is “the places we get to go.”
“I liked the tour of the police station,” she said. Davis, daughter of assistant development director Tim Davis, also said she wished for cooler temperatures at Concord Elementary School because “I’m always sweating in class.”
Cole Bostick, 12, a student at St. Patrick Catholic School, said he enjoyed the council’s participation in the Hometown Holiday tree lighting event.
“We got to take Santa downtown and made sure he got to where he needed to be,” Bostick said.
Luke Harris, 11, a home school student from Troy, said he enjoyed meeting students his age through his service on the council.
“It was fun doing all the activities and making new friends and learning more about Troy,” Harris said.
The following local students serve on the Mayor’s Youth Council: Fifth graders Nate Reynolds of Cookson Elementary; Klowey Kerr of Kyle Elementary; Colin Lynch of Concord Elementary; Aiden Kirkpatrick of Hook Elementary; Alex McAdams of Forest Elementary; Jaelynn Smith of Heywood; Landry Niles of St. Patrick; Andre Menezes of Troy Christian Elementary; Grace Davis of Concord Elementary; Kendall Kerber of Concord Elementary; Luke Harris, a Home-school student; Sixth graders Luke Harnish of Cookson Elementary; Aidan Scott of Concord Elementary; Johnnie Cruea of Forest Elementary; Lukas Hotchkiss of Heywood; Karly Halter of Hook Elementary; Andrew Condy of Kyle Elementary; Lola Gosser of Troy Christian; and Cole Bostick of St. Patrick.
Students are selected by their building or program’s principal and serve two-year terms. They volunteer at many local events such as the Festival of Nations, attend various events and learn about city government and organizations. They also serve as role models to other youth and are ambassadors for the program at school and the community.