Chatham County Youth Commission Honored By County Leaders - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Chatham County Youth Commission Honored By County Leaders

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DOWNTOWN SAVANNAH -

Friday was a very special morning for some local students who have gone the extra mile to be representatives for youths all across the county.  The Chatham County Youth Commission is made up of 44 high school aged volunteers. 

You might say they're the youngest community leaders around.  They were honored at the regular commission meeting.  Marissa Karp of Savannah Country Day School is the chairwoman.

"There are a lot of organizations that have the kids show up, put a T-shirt on and take a picture. And I knew the Chatham County Youth Commission didn't do that.  So I really wanted to get engaged and do things with the community," said Karp. 

"We've been talking a lot about gangs lately, and today the Chatham County Commission unleashed upon the world a gang of good guys," said Youth Commission Director Van Johnson.  "(They are) a gang of young people who are empowered and excited to do the right thing in their schools, in their homes, and in the community."

And this gang has a wide territory.  They've gone to the nation's capitol and New York City.  They've studied how government works at the highest levels, as well as right here at home.

The Youth Commission has been active for more than 20 years. It was started by Commissioner Dr. Priscilla Thomas. Ever since, more than 450 students have gone through the program.

But a Youth Commissioner has to be in high school.  So what will Marissa do when she graduates this year?  Maybe the Army. 

"After I graduate from graduate school as an officer, I might want to go in as a Combat Engineer since that is the most active thing right now that's open to a woman. I think a lot of it will depend on what they open up to women in 2016," said Karp. 

The whole class of 44 Youth Commissioners were honored Friday.  29 were sworn-in for the first time. 

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