City’s youth committee aims to fill vacancies

With seniors graduating, group has room for new members
By Nicholas Johnson | May 03, 2017
Photo by: Nicholas Johnson Mukilteo Youth Advisory Committee members Peter Kim, right, and Ely Klem, who currently serves as chair, pull blackberry vines, an invasive species, from a large patch with fellow committee volunteers and other youth volunteers Saturday, April 29, in Japanese Gulch near the Mukilteo Community Garden. This was the third year the committee has gathered to remove vines from the area. “I felt proud when I noticed the transformation of the landscape from last year to this year,” Kim said.

As some half dozen of its seniors prepare to graduate, the Mukilteo Youth Advisory Committee (MYAC) is looking to fill its ranks for next year.

Peter Kim, who is finishing his second year on the committee, is one of those seniors who won’t be returning.

“I personally gained so much from these experiences and learned important skills such as organization and helping others,” he said. “The youth advisory committee is necessary because it is a crucial connection between the City Council and students.”

The committee, established by the City Council in 2009, is a group of up to 15 Mukilteo residents between ages 14 and 18 who are appointed to one-year terms by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council. The committee’s purpose is connect youth with the city’s elected officials.

“Students' inputs have different perspectives from adults', so this committee is important,” Kim said. “I believe my time on the committee has made the community more united, cleaner, and more loving.”

Applications, which are available on the city’s website at mukilteowa.gov, are due by Aug. 8. For first-time applicants, two references are required; none are required for returning committee members, who may apply using a short version of the application also available online.

The City Council is scheduled to confirm members on Sept. 4. The first MYAC meeting of the 2017-18 school year is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 12 at City Hall. The committee’s next meeting is set for 6 p.m. May 9.

The committee makes policy recommendations to the City Council on matters that affect youth in Mukilteo. It plans, organizes, coordinates and participates in drug- and alcohol-free social, cultural, recreational, educational and other activities for youth. It also works to get more youth involved in government by engaging with other students in the city and serving as role models for all youth in Mukilteo.

Kim said he is proud of the projects he has been a part of as a member of the committee. He said he hopes new members will step up to continue those efforts.

“My proudest experience was helping out with the Special Olympics Team last year because it was very heartwarming to watch members of the Special Olympics Team receiving awards for what they have accomplished throughout their year,” he said.

In addition to the student members, the committee includes two City Council members – currently Randy Lord and Christine Cook – as well as Mayor Jennifer Gregerson, as an alternate, and staff liaison Nancy Passovoy.

Kim said the experience of being a committee member has been invaluable.

“This kind of experience is not common and [you] will never regret the decision,” he said. “Others should step up to fill the vacancies because this committee's projects should never end, whether continuing previous ones or coming up with new ones.”

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