Kids from the Mount Airy Junior Task Force took time in the beginning of Monday night’s town council meeting to advocate for a youth community center.
Mount Airy Christian Academy student Karmon Reed, a member of the Junior Task Force, put together a presentation on her own before speaking publicly with the Mount Airy Town Council, according to Councilwoman Pamela Reed, who is not related to Karmon.
“You’ll see our potential, commitment and energy. Your partnership with us is important, we have big dreams, we cannot do this ourselves," Karmon said. “We want to create a community youth center where we can be kids, we can talk to friends and help out each other. We want to support each other and build positive relationships with adults in the community. Us kids will value the community relationships we have made. When kids are empowered, we are given the opportunity to participate in a community group.”
Reed, the founder of the Mount Airy Junior Task Force, said the group’s current mission and purpose is to advocate for a community youth center.
“We explored and volunteered in the community to expose them to as many different things that we could leading up to them picking a long-term project or kind of finding their purpose or their way within the town,” Reed said.
The idea for the center is to have a safe place for kids of all ages to hang out on the weekends and after school, according to Reed.
Karmon presented additional points to the council regarding the difficulty parents face without their kids having after-school centers, youth being able to gain more self-confidence from the center and helping make sure kids are not involved in unsafe activities.
According to Reed, the task force is a group of kids learning about their town, leadership within the government, staying active, volunteering and participating in the community.
“We’re trying to basically create future leaders,” Reed said.
In her presentation, Karmon said she has already asked other kids in her school about having a center like this and they have given positive feedback, saying they would love to be able to socialize with other kids and make new friends.
According to Reed, part of what they do in the Junior Task Force is practice public speaking, team-building skills and leadership skills. She said she was very proud of Karmon’s presentation at the meeting.
“She was able to show all the things she learned over the last year,” Reed said.
Members of the task force are going to petition the community, and the kids are exploring how they want to do that, either online or written. They also plan to create youth events, some of which will be free to the community, and other fundraisers.
It is still too early in the process to say where exactly the center would go; the task force’s main goal at this point is making more people aware of the need for the center, Reed said.