Youth ambassadors prepare for summit
Collin Boris, of Blue Mountain High School, is pictured asking a question during a meeting of high school students with the Schuylkill County commissioners in preparation for next year's student summit meeting. Students attending were from Marian, Tamaqua, and Panther Valley, the county vocational technical school, as well as the other county high schools. (Photo submitted)
Students from area public and parochial schools met at the Schuylkill County Courthouse Tuesday to prepare a format for the second annual Schuylkill County Summit Youth Ambassadors meeting next March.
County Commissioner Gary Hess, originator of the summit, along with fellow commissioners Frank Staudenmeier and George Halcovage, discussed projects to be brought up at the summit. It was a lively exchange of ideas with the students enthused to carry out many projects to the communities in the county.
The priority project they proposed to undertake is to eliminate blight in the county. That happens to be one of the top projects of Christine Holman, newly elected district attorney, who will assume her duties next January. They plan to get local code enforcement officers involved and press for all municipalities to have a code enforcement officer. Also to give incentives to homeowners who keep up their properties by giving tax breaks.
Another important project the students wish to pursue is to get police more involved in investigating crime instead of pursuing speeders. The students also wish to continue the drive to eliminate illegal drugs, bring in more job opportunities into the county through the development of industries, provide wellness opportunities, and help the poor and needy.
The students expressed that they want to engage in cleanup of garbage strewn around in communities by helping out the Schuylkill, Keep It Pretty program The students are planning to get involved in having a county flag officially adopted. The Shenandoah Valley students have promoted this by having a flag made by a company which they displayed at a band competition.
One project which will be performed before the summit is the decoration of the Christmas tree in the courthouse building in Pottsville. In the past each "row" office took turns decorating a large tree in the main corridor in the courthouse. Each school will decorate the tree with a ornament representing their school.
About 40 students were present including from Tamaqua, Marian, and Panther Valley school districts.