More than 20 youth in Pocatello participated in Government Day on April 23.
“We want to teach the youth here on what the government does, who their government is and teach them to be a part of it, so that anywhere they go in the world they will have an idea of what their cities or municipalities are doing,” said Brian Blad, Mayor of Pocatello.
The Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council is a group of high school students who meet twice a month with the mayor. Each year they participate in Youth Government Day and they learn about departments within Pocatello such as the airport, the police department, the zoo, the mayor’s office and more.
The youth get out of school for a day and they get to choose which departments they are interested in. They learn about what those departments do for their community. “It’s one of those exciting days full of education for the students,” Mayor Blad said.
Maddi Schei, a member of the youth council went to the Pocatello Police Department where she learned about cold cases and how detectives run investigations. “It was really cool to hear them say how they did it,” Schei said.
Emma Watts, a member of the youth council, participated in the Science and Environment Department. She learned about architectural lands and how Centennial Park can be redesigned. “Hopefully their goal is to make the river usable,” Watts said. “That is one of their main goals and objectives.”
Mayor Blad said youth can go online and become a part of a Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council in their area by filling out an application. They can also reach out to city hall and ask them how to get involved.
“Hopefully at some point they have a desire to be involved regardless if it’s actually into politics and becoming the mayor or a city council person or if it’s just to serve on a committee,” Mayor Blad said. “To be involved in their community, we think that helps grow economies and we think it helps the overall outlook of a community.”
The mayor feels Youth Government Day helps him as much as it helps the youth. He enjoys associating with them, learning about their desires and the hopes they have for their community in the future.