TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – For the past two years, a local organization has worked to get and keep young people involved in the community.
The Topeka Youth Commission engages and advocates for young people in Shawnee County. The commission does this by breaking down into three focus areas.
- Local government
- Working directly with the mayor and city council to look at different things they can implement in the city within the municipal government.
- Community involvement
- Creating events for youth to help keep them in the Capital City.
- Focusing on volunteering in the community.
This year, TYC is looking at holding voter engagement events ahead of the 2020 general election.
Of course, the coronavirus pandemic has put most of these things to a halt. However, Bryce Liedtke, chair of the Topeka Youth Commission, said most of them got well-acquainted with Zoom pretty quickly.
“It’s made things definitely more difficult,” he said. “It’s harder to get those in-depth conversations through a screen, but we’ve managed and we’re still moving forward just like everyone else here in Topeka.”
Liedtke hopes to continue making an impact on young people in the area.
“By providing organizations like the Topeka Youth Commission, we help youth understand about Topeka and what our community is and has to offer,” said Liedtke. “And so we’re allowing them to not only understand what the community is but get involved and so that way they can have an impact and change the community how they want to see it and then they’re more likely to stay and participate in our community.”
The Topeka Youth Commission frequently works with the Topeka Youth Project. Liedtke said the two organizations are partnering in the near future to create a weekly broadcast, bringing in different organizations within the community and starting to talk about what youth want to see in the community.
If you’d like to get involved, the Topeka Youth Commission has a recruitment process at the end of each year and has a selection process in March. You can find information on that on their website or Facebook page.