Chatham County leadership program encourages civic engagement

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Youth Commissioners wrapped up their annual legislative tour today. Youth commissioners told News 3, that the nationally recognized program is helping them have a presence.

“A lot of adults think that our voice doesn’t matter but it really does, so I think we need to show our voice and be heard,” Sahera Howard, a youth commissioner who said this is her third and final year, stated.

The 10th through 12th grade teens spent time visiting national monuments, the White House and met with Georgia District One Representative Buddy Carter.

Mayor Van Johnson said it is important to invest in the youth in our communities.

“It’s easier to build strong children than fix broken men, and so when we’re talking about some of the bad things that happen in our community, all of our kids are not doing bad things and we have to really accentuate the good kids doing good things,” Van Johnson stated.

Hundreds of students have been a part of the 29-year-old program, and Johnson commented on the program’s impacts stating, “Our oldest commissioners that are in their 40’s can still remember their first trip and what it meant to them.”

Howard said she wants other teenagers to know that there are always opportunities for anyone, regardless of his or her age, to get involved in their local government. The student who is a senior at Windsor Forest, said the future of each community lies in the hands of its youth leaders.

“We’re the next generation of politicians so we need to know what’s going on and like learn what are like the best ways for us to get our ideas out there,” Howard said.

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