Chloe Brynteson thinks the younger generation should carry their weight.
The chair of the Liberty Lake Youth Commission (LLYC) is joined in that perspective by seven of her cohorts who took the initiative to restart the city-sponsored program last spring after a five-year hiatus.
“It seems like there are a lot of adults in this community who are leaders and volunteers,” said, Brynteson, a junior at Central Valley High School. “I feel like I should be doing that as much as they do. I need to give back.”
Originally formed in 2006, LLYC coordinated events for kids as well as food drives benefiting Second Harvest Food Bank and fundraisers supporting Crosswalk, a downtown youth shelter.
In 2008, the group was honored for their efforts in community leadership at the Chase Youth Awards.
Since 2013, however, the commission has been largely silent.
That changed last April when the newest rendition of LLYC held their first meeting at City Hall. Brynteson and Natalie Alva, who serves as vice chair, were the catalysts in reviving the mission. All eight commission members are juniors at CV.
“These are society’s future leaders,” said Mayor Steve Peterson. “They have a youth vision and they are volunteering to make the community better.”
The city provides monetary reimbursements as well as advisors like Finance Director R.J. Stevenson and Maintenance and Operations Director Jennifer Camp. Stevenson said the group has been mostly autonomous.
“I’m here to support them but I try to stay out of their way,” he said. “They’re pretty independent. They got things going on their own and City Council has been supportive of their efforts.”
LLYC coordinated a well-attended talent show at Pavillion Park last August and will host the second annual event Aug. 3 at 11 a.m. during Barefoot in the Park.
“The talent show last year was the first big event we hosted as a youth commission, so I thought it went pretty well,” said LLYC Treasurer Cooper Young. “We hope to have a big crowd this year because people will already be at the park.”
The commission also put on a Winter Festival last December that included a clothing drive with donations going to the Salvation Army. This June, LLYC kickstarted a summer reading program for kids at Liberty Creek Elementary that will conclude Aug. 16 with a celebration and prizes.
Young, who is the “tech guy” at the talent show, said being part of service projects “has been fun” and also fulfills required hours through National Honor Society. His sister, Maci, is also part of LLYC.
“I think it’s cool that we’ve brought the youth commission back,” Cooper said. “It’s important to be involved in your community.”
The rest of the commission includes Savannah Pratt (secretary), Thomas Dunne, Garrett Packebush and Sarah Pecha.
Bryntesen recalls attending events sponsored by LLYC when she was in elementary school.
“I want to be an example like that to kids,” she said. “When we started this last year, it just came back to this idea of getting involved and putting down your phone, your computer and video games. There are people here who have made a difference in this community for years. If we keep that going and have youth step up, we’re going to continue to make Liberty Lake a great place to live.”