Around Our Town...Casper's Cool Kids – Youth Empowerment Council
05/01/2005 - 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
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
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.