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Around Our Town...Casper's Cool Kids Youth Empowerment Council

04/01/2005 - The Youth Empowerment Council is the only program in Casper that reduces programs FOR youth and replaces them with programs BY youth, thereby enabling them to become productive members of society.

Facilitated by Darcy Dixon, the council meets every Thursday evening at 6:00 pm at City Hall. The council consists of junior and senior high youth from many Casper area schools.

"They are a great group of kids. I enjoy working with them," Darcy says. With degrees in Communication and Marketing as well as secondary education from UW, Darcy is ideally suited for her position working with the council.

The Youth Empowerment Council is funded by the City of Casper, the Natrona County School District and the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. The office is housed in the Wyoming Medical Center.

"We address needs we feel are pertinent," says Cabot Crump, one of the youth participating on the council. "It's one of the best things I've ever done. It has gotten me involved in my community and I feel I am a better person for it."

"It makes me feel like I have a voice in the community," adds Lindsey Phipps.

Below is a list of the Youth Empowerment Council's accomplishments as of March 2005:

Methamphetamine Awareness Conference 2004

Martin Luther King Day Activities 2004, 2005

100 Days of Art 2004

Healthy Communities, Healthy Youth Conference 2003

Safe Kids day

Rotary Crossroads Park Build 2004

Leadership and civics training with Wyoming State Legislature, Wyoming Superintendent of Schools, Trent Blakenship, and Governor Freudenthal 2004

Attend City Council meetings

Attend School Board meetings

Semi-annual newsletter

Furthering Youth Involvement Volunteer Fair and Concert 2004

Pumpkin painting with Garden Square residents 2004

1 youth seat on the Suicide Awareness Task Force

1 youth seat on the Underage Drinking Task Force

Attend Natrona County Coalition Prevention meetings

Wyoming Covering Kids with Back to School Fair 2004

Attended the "Fork in the Road" combating underage drinking conference 2004

Meals on Wheels Christmas project 2004

Valentine making with residents of Meadow Winds Assisted Living 2005

Reminders and Rewards program to combat underage tobacco

Housing Alternatives

Wyoming Heritage conference "How are the child" 2005

Creation of HB 145, allowing 16 & 17 year-olds to work as Election Judges

Testifying, and lobbying for the successful passage of HB 145

Lobbied Governor Freudenthal to sign HB 145

Invitation to present to Wyoming Association of Municipalities conference regarding passage of HB 145, summer 2005

Somthin' to Do: a series of multi-disciplinary workshops for teens

Creation of YEC documentary 2005

Update YEC documentary 2005

Creation of a mobile teen suicide awareness display

Creation of three (each highlighting a different warning sign) peer to peer PSA's

Successful completion of Gate Keepers training to become youth trainers

Active participation with the skate park planning committee

Diversity & Equality subcommittee

Summer Institute 2004

Summer Institute planning committee 2005

Invitation to be a pilot program for impaired driving prevention short course

Youth Empowerment Council members pictured include (in alphabetical order): Ashley Belcher, Sabrina Belcher, Tomasz Bogucki, Amanda Craig, Cabot Crump, Owain Graham, Jenielle Lambrecht, Phillip Pedry, Rosemary Pedry, Lindsey Phipps, and Fatima Todd.

Kudos to you, Darcy, and your Youth Empowerment Council. Thanks for being such an asset to our community.

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