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New partnership connects youth with local government

February 9, 2021

The County will expand youth engagement and encourage further participation in local government through a new partnership with Youth Council Coalition of Canada (YCC).

“We are excited to be the first Eastern Ontario municipality to join forces with Youth Council Coalition of Canada. We share the goal of developing meaningful civic engagement opportunities for young people,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says. “With the support, guidance, and resources provided by YCC, members of Council look forward to hearing more from youth in the community and providing mentorship to students.”

As part of joining YCC, Council has agreed to participate in the Hour-for-Hour Challenge. The program will help secondary school students (Grades 9-12) learn how local government works through experiential learning opportunities. Students will be paired with a member of Council who will tailor the learning experience according to the needs and interests of the student.

Possible activities may include students writing about their experience and lessons learned watching a Council meeting, completing a survey, or participating in another public consultation opportunity. As an added bonus, students who participate in the challenge can earn some or all of the 40 hours of volunteer service that are required in order to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma.

YCC will support the municipally-led initiative with free resources and webinars.

“The Hour-for-Hour Challenge provides youth with an opportunity to learn more about local government structures, practices and policies and provides local governments with an opportunity to inform, engage and inspire young and future generations,” says Kelsey Santarossa, YCC Founder and President.

The Hour-for-Hour challenge is open to students who reside in Prince Edward County, regardless of where they attend school. If you have questions regarding the program, contact Joy McLeod, Executive Assistant to the Mayor, by emailing jmcleod@pecounty.on.ca.

County youth can get involved in local government in a number of other ways. Learn more about opportunities for youth to serve on a committee or board, work at the County during the summer, and engage with the municipality during a classroom visit.

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