Getting our youth involved in the community is an important step in creating a vision for Topeka and Shawnee County, say those involved in a recently-launched visioning project.
To achieve that, Highland Park High School students heard about the Topeka and Shawnee County visioning project at a special assembly Friday. The project looks to involve all segments of the community in creating a plan for what they'd like the area to look like ten years from now. Those involved in the project say it's important for the teens to be part of it.
"I think sometimes we overlook our kids and the adults make the decisions," said Dale Cushinberry, Highland Park High School Principal. "We wonder why we don't have a buy-in. Without our kids, any vision that we have would be a blurred vision."
Students who heard the presentation were excited to be asked to join in.
"This is something that can hear our voice for the very first time," Cameron Brooks said. "We don't want the adults saying, 'you can't do this.'"
Some students already had ideas to pitch.
"A better downtown area," offered student Heloice Steele. "There's not much down there. It looks really trashy. If we had more for teens to participate in, it would be a lot better."
Shawnee County community members aged 15 and up can apply to be part of the Topeka and Shawnee County visioning project. Information on the project and applications to serve on a committee or task force are available at www.heartlandvisioning.com.