The Batesville Mayor’s Youth Council gives students “the opportunity to learn more about how the city operates overall and gives them an outlet to provide community service through a wide variety of activities each calendar year,” reports adviser Kim Linkel.
Adviser Teri Fledderman says husband Mayor Rick Fledderman “believes strongly in giving youth a voice in their community, and he was the push behind getting the organization started” over nine years ago.
MYC members “must be students who attend any public or private school in the Batesville area, grades 7-12,” she says. The council currently has 40 members. “Originally, there was a limit of 25 members. As the opportunities and interest evolved, we realized having a cap was not in the best interest of the organization. We look for a balanced number in each grade, as well as representation from all schools.
“As a general rule, we only accept new members one time a year, and only from the seventh grade. This spring, we will provide information to St. Louis and Batesville Middle School sixth-graders about MYC and invite them to attend an informational meeting and see what it is all about. Then they have the option to complete the application process. We have been thrilled with the growth and perception about ... (the group). Most years, we cannot accept all applicants.”
The officers include co-Presidents Leo Giesey and Logan Schwering, Vice President Madison McCreary, Secretary Audrey Wilson, Treasurer Trent Barnett and at-large members Allyson Ritter and Lexi Eisert.
Council meetings are held once a month in the Memorial Building, with various committees meeting more often.
The teens have many events planned. Eisert, a Batesville High School junior, notes, “We are currently trying to meet with other youth councils in Indiana.”
BHS senior Ritter reports, “Our Green Committee is planning on transforming into a Community Events Committee to better serve Batesville. Additionally, we have some members planning to work in conjunction with Safe Passage in 2014.”