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'It's a real deal': Dublin Youth Council set to host teen symposium

The Youth Symposium will be held in Dublin October 14-16.

DUBLIN, Ga. — Dublin's City Council has a shadow called the Dublin Youth Council. It's an opportunity for teens to get involved in local government and find solutions to community concerns. 

This year, Dublin will host the youth symposium for youth councils all over Georgia. Dublin Teen Council Mayor Darrius Knight is a senior in high school who joined the program in 10th grade, and he says each year, his passion for government has grown.

"It's a real deal. It's not something that you can just come and decide that you're going to chill out and play around with it. This is something that's very serious," Knight said.

Knight wants to become a Supreme Court justice. He hopes his two years serving as the mayor on the Dublin Youth Council will help him get there.

"It's really made me realize that I'm a really great leader, just seeing my growth and where I came from as a junior city clerk," Knight said.

City leaders decided back in 2016 that children in the area needed a voice in their local government. That's when they created the Dublin Youth Council.

"It up lifts you a little bit knowing that you're actually making a change in your community," Knight said.

Antwain Lloyd, the youth council advisor, says they have all the same positions as the city council. 

"What is going to be your legacy? What are you going to leave behind? What mark are you going to leave for the next council and the next generation?" Lloyd said.

Some of the activities students participate in include giving to the homeless and "Shop With a Cop." They even helped establish the Southern Pines Water Park in Dublin.

"They're able to see, 'Hey, we had an impact on our community. It wasn't just us talking, but now, we're able to see the action work and legwork behind those things,'" Lloyd said.

"Youth, we really do have a voice, and I think that is something a lot of people don't understand, and by being on this council, you are actively using your voice, so that's something I really want to see expand in the city," Knight said. 

Knight says a project that's in the works is a "chalk-walk." The council plans to visit local schools and write motivational quotes on the sidewalks to inspire other students. The Youth Symposium will be held in Dublin October 14-16.

Teens from 10th to 12th grades can join. If you want to be a part of the Dublin Youth Council you can check out the City of Dublin's website and apply there.

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