Olentangy Liberty freshman William Wang set out to create the Powell Youth Council in March 2022 as a way to get the local youth educated and engaged in what’s going on in the city. Now, the council is celebrating one year of involvement in the community while looking forward to how the council can continue to grow in year two.
The council consists of 15 students ranging from freshmen to seniors who share Wang’s passion for helping his fellow youth to find their voices on matters that also affect them in the community.
“What I had in mind was to create a youth organization that was both passionate and had the resources available to volunteer at local city events, provide input on issues that may impact the youth, and create an organization that showed the impact the youth can have in Powell,” Wang told The Gazette. “What we do is we volunteer at certain community events in the city, and we create different projects and ideas that we believe would benefit the overall community.”
Wang, who serves as the council president in addition to being its founder, estimates the council has volunteered in approximately 10 city events since it was created last year. The council also partnered with Liberty cross country coach Jared Mills to establish The Children’s Museum of Powell, which Wang described as a “COSI-type of building in the community to serve people the council may not be able to directly serve, which is children.” The project aims to bring “fun, passion, and overall excitement to the community,” Wang added.
The council has garnered the support of various local organizations in Powell, as well as the city’s governing body. During its Aug. 16, 2022 meeting, Powell City Council presented members of the Powell Youth Council with a proclamation acknowledging the council’s community initiative.
Wang said his inspiration for creating the council reflected his own personal interest in being involved in the community. “What I wanted to do was to be able to impact my community through different ideas, to help the community through involvement and innovation,” he said.
Potential members must fill out a form with 10 questions gauging that person’s interest in the community, ideas, and what they would bring to the council. From there, the council reviews those answers to decide who warrants an interview. Wang said the qualities the council is looking for in a new member include passion, commitment and innovation. For Wang in particular, he said he’s looking for people who work hard and are willing to accept new ideas.
The council has considered expanding its membership to 2o members in the future, depending on the interest the council continues to receive. However, Wang said there is a balance that has to be struck between having too few voices involved in the council and having too many that could potentially weaken their work.
For now, the council is content with where it’s at a year into the initiative. Armed with a year of experience on which they can continue to build, Wang expects even better things to come from the council moving forward.
“We’ve certainly learned a lot through the various events, things like what not to do, what we should do, and which events we should attend,” he said. “I would say this past year has been filled with different learning opportunities for all of us.”
Wang went on to say, “My goal for the council is for it to be a household name in the Powell community, for it to be known by both adults and the youth. I want it to be a symbol of youth passion, youth ability, and for youth ideas and innovation. I want it to be a council where everyone has the ability to make a change in the community, where everyone can impact the people they care about, and a council that benefits everyone in the community.”
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.