The City of Sugar Hill has named the 2017-2018 Youth Council members. Five of the Youth Council members, Spencer-Grace Williams (Youth Mayor), Kaan Cubukcu (Youth Mayor Pro Tem), Ethan Shaw (Secretary), Nida Merchant, (Youth Ambassadors Chair) and Maya Chanda are returning candidates from the previous school year.
The three remaining positions were awarded to Laura Ann Acker, Camryn Flores and Camden Doker. These high school students will represent the city for the duration of the school year.
The newly-appointed Youth Council officials were chosen through a process much like their predecessors. Applications were accepted and reviewed by Council Member Mike Sullivan and members of staff. Applicants were then interviewed by Sullivan and a selection board. Each year the program continues to draw from a strong pool of applicants and this year was no different. Sullivan spoke about this year's council saying, "We are very excited about the 2017-18 Youth Council. With a good mix of returning and new council members, we have a great line up of activities and they have selected some great projects both to continue and some new ones as well."
This is the fourth year for the Youth Council program. The program has grown into a thriving group of Sugar Hill high school students who are truly making a difference in their community. Their accomplishments include the creation of a middle school education event during Georgia Cities Week and creating of a group of teens (Youth Ambassadors) who focus on volunteer work in and around the community. Because of these and several other efforts, the group has been recognized as the example of Youth Councils around the state. Several other cities have approached Sugar Hill's Youth Council leadership for guidance on creating their own councils.
Youth Mayor, Spencer-Grace Williams, is looking forward to the upcoming year, "After having the most productive year since our Youth Council began, our group is more energized than ever to get this year rolling. The plans and events we have in store with the city are really exciting, and we can't wait to raise youth involvement in and knowledge about Sugar Hill! Through volunteering with the city for a number of years, I've had a chance to work with some wonderful people and have been presented with many great opportunities. Being there firsthand to see how fast our community is growing is inspiring and great to be a part of, so it's very important to the Youth Council that other young people get a chance to see and be a part of that as well".
Youth Mayor Pro Tem, Kaan Cubukcu also reflects on his Youth Council experience thus far, "The past two years in the Youth Council has opened doors and led me to life changing adventures that I didn't think I could ever be a part of. Getting to know the inner workings of municipal government and experiencing first-hand the amount of effort that the community gives to their city to make it a better place has been an inspiration for not only me but the rest of the Youth Council as well. I'm proud to be part of such an active city and will do whatever I can to put more into it not only through the Youth Council but as an active volunteer as well".
The Sugar Hill Youth Council was sworn in by Mayor Steve Edwards at the City Council meeting on October 9, 2017.