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Cape Coral Youth Council recognized

By Staff | Jun 7, 2018

The Cape Coral Youth Council has only been in existence for two years, but it has already made an impact at the city and statewide levels.

Two weeks ago, the advisory panel was named among the state’s best in a statewide community service contest.

The 2018 Municipal Youth Council Community Service Contest, sponsored by the Florida League of Cities, showcased community service projects performed by municipal youth councils that address specific needs in their local communities.

The Cape Coral Youth Council placed third with its “Blessings in a Backpack,” a national initiative that helps provide food on the weekends for elementary school children who might otherwise go hungry.

“I’m glad they were able to do this. They got the entry together and it all by themselves. We didn’t do anything except getting the entry put in,” said City Councilmember Rick Williams, who serves as the Youth Council liaison.

Carsyn Baxter, Youth Council chairperson and Cape Coral High School senior, said she was excited the group was recognized.

“I wasn’t expecting it because there were more experienced people and really good projects, so I was excited that we won and was able to tell Council we won,” Baxter said.

Baxter said the idea came from a friend who did Blessings in a Backpack as a project at school and thought it would be a great idea for the Youth Council, with Williams providing the assist in helping to submit the project as Cape Coral’s representative for the League of Cities

“Rick Williams is really involved in the League of Cities so he presented us with the idea of presenting a project. We submitted a video about it and an essay with pictures and finally won the award,” Baxter said.

The Youth Council has been raising funds for this program by selling concessions and raffle tickets during the Parks & Rec’s movie nights held throughout the city.

So far, they have raised $2,400 with the goal of raising $5,000 by the end of the year that she hopes will go directly to the charity.

Contest winners will receive a trophy, be recognized during the Youth Council program at the League’s annual conference on Saturday, Aug. 18, in Hollywood, be featured in the League’s statewide publication, Quality Cities (QC) magazine, and have their projects featured on the League’s website and social media accounts.

Williams said there are some members who plan to attend.

Municipal youth councils are special citywide councils composed of high school students within the city that typically serve as an advisory board to the city council.