(CHS) senior Jonathan Shumway said he watched some "very lively" dialogues between residents and members of the city's Board of Aldermen during his time on the . For him, it was a valuable lesson.
"It's difficult to match the desires and supposed needs of both parties," said Shumway, one of the council's 11 students this year.
He and other program participants received recognition Monday afternoon during a news conference in the CHS library. Mayor spoke as part of a video that will be posted to the city's website.
The council gives juniors and seniors the opportunity to attend meetings of the aldermen, Clayton Board of Education and other city entities. They also meet with the mayor to discuss city issues, produce an annual candidate forum before city elections and perform service projects, such as a recent inventory of city parking spaces for people with disabilities.
Reflecting on the program
Shumway is planning to stay involved in politics. He's considering participation this summer in Mitt Romney's Republican presidential campaign, though he said it's hard to find the right candidate. He has considered getting a Ph.D. and working at a think tank.
Laura Stanton, a trustee for the Davis Place neighborhood, served as the city-appointed adult adviser to the council. She has young children, and she enjoyed the opportunity to work with the high school students, whom she described as collected, thoughtful and interested.
"I just couldn't be more impressed," Stanton said. She said the students took time to ask guest speakers thoughtful questions about their role in the city and the decisions they make.
"I've had a blast," she said.
Debra Wiens, a social studies teacher, served as the adult adviser for CHS. As someone who teaches students about the political process, she enjoyed watching them take the next step.
"It's thrilling, actually, to see them be involved," Wiens said. She thinks more cities should organize such a program.
Registration open for 2012-13
Students may register for the 2012-13 youth council until May 31. Eight spots are available.
To be eligible, students must be in their junior or senior year. They also must attend Clayton High School or live in Clayton and attend another high school.
More information is available by going to the City of Clayton website.