VISTA — Vista’s City Hall was filled with fresh young faces Nov. 18, as new and reappointed Youth Committee members and youth representatives to other city commissions were given certificates of appointment by City Council members. The city’s Youth Commission is composed of students from sixth to 12th grades. They volunteer at community events and serve as a bridge between children and the city government.
Each of the new appointees had different motivations for joining. William Mitchell, a junior at Guajome Park Academy, saw the commission as a way to take a leadership role within the community and step outside his usual circle of church and school.
“Here’s another opportunity for me to (do) that thing that just might make that extra difference and provide that important perspective that lets the City Council really do their job so much better,” William said.
Rancho Buena Vista ninth-grader and committee chairperson Holly Johnson, one of the reappointed commissioners, described herself as interested in all political things. She said she was particularly proud of her involvement in Go Play, Get Fit Day, which aimed to get children more healthy and active.
“I think it’s really important to be an involved citizen and as a youth be involved and affect the community in a positive way,” Holly said.
Some joined the commission as part of a family tradition. Danielle Noble, a Rancho Buena Vista junior, followed in her brother’s footsteps to become the youth representative to the Parks and Recreation committee. A primary goal of hers is to promote soccer in the city, there being just two teams in the division.
Catrina Alvarez, granddaughter of two-term councilman Frank Lopez, echoes Danielle’s sentiment.
“I’ve been part of soccer for a really long time,” Catrina said. “Fields are really hard to come by, but just as in any sport, it’s very important that we get our youth involved.”
Alvarez is a senior at La Jolla Country Day School, and very proud to be a civic leader like her grandfather. She saved her highest praise for the council as a whole.
“I was really proud when they started passing laws concerning global warming and the safety of that because at my school, we’re very much involved in global warming and we’re very aware of our environment,” Catrina said.
Lopez said the youth commissions help students become more extroverted and well-rounded individuals while giving them a greater understanding of how local civics work.
“I enjoy seeing kids in the different commissions because when I went to school, they didn’t have any of that kind of stuff,” Lopez said. He noted that he had to overcome his natural shyness late in life when he entered politics. “Today you see the youth get out and it helps them,” he said. “The more kids can be on those commissions, the better.”
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