Freeport Youth Commission plans for the future

Next Youth Commission meeting is set for 8 p.m., April 14, at Freeport’s City Hall

FREEPORT—Whether you are old or young, do you find Freeport boring? Do you find it hard to stay out of trouble because you have too much time on your hands?

If it’s hard to find something to do, especially if you lack money, you’re not alone.

If you, your friends or family regularly leave Freeport to go elsewhere because the choices are limited in Freeport, you should know there are area adults ready to listen and act on your behalf.

These adults have been meeting for six months or so. They call themselves the “Freeport Youth Commission,” and they started a process they hope will eventually be driven by the youth they hope to serve.

You see, these adults are smart enough to know today’s youth have interests, concerns and attention spans very different than they had. They know they need the input and “buy-in” of today’s youth for anything to be successful.

So, this group invited area youth to join them at 9 E. Coffee, Feb. 26, for the first Youth Summit.

Thirty-five or so area youth representing the junior high and high school came and freely exchanged their thoughts, beliefs, concerns and ideas about and for Freeport. They also shared their personal stories.

The Freeport Youth Commission recently met to discuss the fruits of the event: what they heard, what they learned, what they need, and possible action items for the short- and long-term.

At first, the adults shared their surprise that a majority of the Youth Summit discussion revolved around school—that is until Laurel Street Church youth leader Sherry Jansen reminded them that, for youth, their life, friends and choices tend to revolve around school. It was agreed that the School District needs a liaison to represent them at these meetings.

The group presented a draft of an Action Plan for discussion. They are looking to plan summer activities in various neighborhoods, and are hoping to host a “Back-to-School Blowout” in August with a variety of activities, free food and a concert at day’s end.

So, young people, here’s your chance to help shape your future in Freeport. Make plans to attend the next Youth Commission meeting at 8 a.m., April 14, at Freeport’s City Hall (interested adults are also welcome). Call Freeport’s City Hall for more information at 815-235-8200.

from the April 4-10, 2007, issue

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