Welcome to the blog of the Fairbanks North Star Borough Youth Commission.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Youth Rights

This is more of a personal post, but I found this (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Youth_rights) on Wikipedia, and I realized that it is right up our alley. I will put some of these links on the links section on our blog. Directly from the Wikipedia article, these are key youth rights issues Here are some links to more youth rights organizations.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Youth Commission passes resolution in defense of youth members on borough commissions

An Ordinance introduced by Anchorage Assembly member Dick Triani to the Municipality of Anchorage would eliminate youth members on all Anchorage advisory boards and commissions except for the youth advisory commission.(Ordinance No. AO 2007-24) Why does this affect us all the way up here in Fairbanks? If this passes in Anchorage it may only be a short time before it could happen here, too. Anchorage mayor Mark Beigch Sent a strongly worded letter (which we do not yet have permission to re-post here) to Dick Triani as well as the Anchorage Assembly opposing this ordinance. Out of the 440 board commission members there has been only two under the age of 18 who have served, and currently there is only one.
Note: the following is the opinion of commissioner Lars, and may not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Youth Commission or the Borough.
Dick Triani thinks that having youth on advisory boards and commissions "jumps the gun" in terms of experience and wisdom needed for positions. This ordinance claims to not completely shut-out youth as non-voting members, but in fact creates many hurdles for them to jump over just to voice their opinions. They must meet state requirements for employment. The last time I checked, I'm not paid to be on the Youth Commission, so what is the purpose except to put up a barrier between youth and commissioners? It is truly sad that some should feel threatened by our presence in government. -Lars
The Youth Commission has swiftly wrote up a counter resolution which it is submitting to the Anchorage Assembly, The Fairbanks Assembly, and the media.




Whereas, young people under the age of 18 comprise between 35-40% of the resident population in any community in Alaska, and

Whereas, young people are resources (mostly untapped resources) in their community, capable of contributing in meaningful, authentic ways to local government and organizations in the communities of which they are a part, and

Whereas, only a small percentage of youth have more than a rudimentary understanding of how local government works, and

Whereas, this lack of understanding only serves to reinforce young people’s detachment from a variety of political processes that affect where they live and spend their time, contributing to youth feeling disconnected from the decision-making processes, and

Whereas, one rationale for engaging youth in decision making is to ensure development of civic mindedness, engagement, and youth leadership, and

Whereas, local government has a responsibility to support young people by providing opportunities to be fully engaged as partners in the decisions that affect them and in the development of solutions to the issues facing their communities, and

Whereas, engaging youth in local governance has multiple levels of benefits: to the youth, to the adults who work with them, and to the organizations in communities in which they live.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved that the Youth Commission of the Fairbanks North Star Borough speaks against the proposed ordinance before the Anchorage Assembly to eliminate opportunities for youth to be equal partners with adults on Municipal boards and commissions in Anchorage.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED copies of this resolution shall be sent to the FNSB Assembly and to the Anchorage Assembly. PASSED AND APPROVED THIS 19th DAY of FEBURARY , 2007.

SIGNED: Tristan Walsh, Member
Kelley Brazeau, Chair
Lars Osborne, Deputy Chair

Victoria Foote, FNSB Assembly & Commission Partner

Andre Layral, Adult Partner, FNSB Youth Commission


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

YA Recieves Check from Mt. McKinley Bank

Well, these past few weeks have been simply awesome. After the Knit-a-thon (where we saw a lot of diverse members of the Borough come together to help fellow Alaskans) we received the check from Mt. McKinley Bank's Patty Mongold, who had promised to meet the Youth Commission for $5 for every scarf or hat knitted. They generously went beyond that promise and gave us $500 to donate to the Fairbanks Rescue Mission. A) Lars Osborne and Kelly Brazeau, Vice-Chair and Chair of the FNSB Youth Commission, receive the check to Patty Mongold, Senior Vice President of Mt. McKinley Bank. B) Lars Osborne, Kelly Brazeau and Andrew Hopp of the Youth Commission present the check to Rodney Gaskins, Exec. Director of the Rescue Mission.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

More Pictures from the Knit-a-Thon

I just got all of the pictures taken at the Knit-a-Thon, and here are some of my favorites. They are kind of in reverse order because they all get loaded in at the top and i was way to lazy to re-arrange everything. The Knit-a-Thon was a lot of fun and i think we can all agree that it tapped into everyone's altruistic desire to help out their community.
The Finished product!
The West Valley Boy's JV Basketball team showed up to make scarves. They were a huge help and they are seen here posing with the ones they made as well as many others. It's an action like that made by the Basketball team that makes me proud to be a West Valley Student.
Warning: Doing community service and helping people out might be fun!
Lacey (of Joel's Place Fame) Was a big help in getting the knit-a-thon together and she made an awesome hat too.
Lars (left), Deputy Chair and Kelley (right), Chair Getting intense in their knitting at the registration table.
Our Totally massive pile of yarn!
Our Totally Awesome VISTA Volunteers
Andrew (Youth Commission Secertary) and his Girlfriend getting it on. (knitting, of course)


Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Knit-a-Thon a Sucess!

Rodney Gaskins and Austin Brown, middle right, Of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission
The Knit-a-Thon turned out to be a huge success, We got coverage in our local newspaper , the Daily News-Miner as well as spots in the NBC Channel 11 and CBS Channel 13 news. Over 115 people showed up to help out! Over 60 area youth came to make items to donate to the people living at the Rescue Mission and Center for Non Violent Living, a couple of moms were there because their children insisted they participate! We collected a box of meat and two boxes of canned food for the Rescue Mission. We collected 124 scarves, 34 hats, 7neck warmers, 2 pairs of mittens, 2 pot holders and 1 sweater! We got a tremendous amount of support from our community, So i would like to thank them all here without further to do.
But First - This Project would not have been possible without Americorps Vista Volunteers.We were helping them out, not the other way around. I made this tri-org logo for the event, pretty cool, huh?
Business's/Organizations: Mt. McKinley Bank, Alaska State Yarn Council, Pizza Hut, Pazzo G’s Pizza Joint, Memories and More, Interior Alaska Center for Non Violent Living, Joel’s Place, UAF Cooperative Extension, Rescue Mission, and the Food Bank,


These folks worked all day helping others learn to knit, crochet, or sew throughout the event. Linda Harriger, Sue Cole, Victoria Throop, Rita Osborne, and Sheri Layral,

And MANY, MANY individuals who participated and donated to the cause.

We’d like to thank everyone for all of your support and help on this day of commemoration for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his wonderful work. This event shows us that people from everywhere can and do work together in a united effort.

Lars's Thoughts:

As they streaming in through the door we hardly even realized what was happening. Kelley and I were surprised at how fast we were able to pick up knitting, but we were so busy that we hardly ever had any time to knit. In the end I was able to knit half of a scarf, which with the help of some wonderful ladies and a crochet hook I was able to convert it to a headband. It all went by so fast that It hasn't really sunk in until now. We were so excited as people started pouring in. Things went really smoothly and a lot of clothes were made. It was great meeting all of the hardcore knitters out there who were more than glad to help out for a good cause. The level of Youth involvement was what surprised me the most. As an organization, we are currently struggling on membership to the youth commission, but teens and kids showed up in droves! In fact, The West Valley JV Basketball team showed up. I can say that it is an out-of-the-ordinary act like that which makes me proud to be a West Valley student. The exposure we got from doing the event was awesome and we helped a lot of homeless people in our community. During the event, Rodney Gaskins, of the Fairbanks Rescue Mission, said that homeless people in our society become invisible, and that by doing this event we are saying 'no, you are not invisible and we care about you.' We can all learn so much from how over 115 people came together to help those in need. This is now official, we will do it again next year.

Kelly, Lars, Andrew and Tristan all in the same picture (That's a First!)


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Announcing the MLK, Jr. Day of Service Knit-a-Thon!

On Monday, January 15th, the Youth Commission in Co-operation with Ameri-Corps Vista Volunteers will be hosting a Knit-a-thon at the Pioneer Park Civic Center from 10 am to 2 pm. On Monday, January 15, in celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Day of Service”, there will be sounds of clicking needles, hooks and scissors. Hats and scarves will be made for the homeless by many volunteers. Eager to learn to knit, crochet or sew? Volunteers will be available to teach those interested. Learn a skill and feast on pizza while making a valuable contribution to the Fairbanks community. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of service is just in the nick of time, last year the temperature plunged to -51 F the next week! We hope to have 100 people attend. Each scarf or hat made will go to the Fairbanks rescue mission as well as hone your skills. We may have local business pledge money per each scarf so it is our goal to make as many scarves as possible!


Monday, November 20, 2006

Elders Thanksgiving Dinner Service Project

elders preparing for the feast
For the month of November our service project was to help out at the Elders Thanksgiving Dinner. We joined dozens of other volunteers to help prepare and serve the food and beverages. Lars O. , Tristan W., and Borough Assembly member Torie Foote were there representing the Youth Commission.
Lars looking sharp in his Youth Commission T-shirt
There must have been several hundred seniors there enjoying their thanksgiving dinner while being entertained by performers ranging from dancing groups to the Lathrop Jazz Band and the "Tannana Flats". We served refreshments before dinner, and helped prepare and serve the meals to the elders. While getting some snacks from the volunteer break room, the Lathrop jazz band was warming up, a girl named Dara walked in and asked another jazz band member, "Can you help me get my vibraphone out of the car?" I stopped. 'What is a vibraphone?' I though to myself. My curiosity peaked and I ended up helping them set up the massive instrument. Turns out that a vibraphone is sort of like a xylophone on steroids. It has keys on the top just like a regular xylophone, but it has different length pipes underneath it that make it sound a lot cooler. Looking at all of the pieces on the floor together, you would be astonished.
Dara Posing with her "vibraphone"
the Elders Thanksgiving Dinner service project was a success. Check back for our December service project as well as details of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, on January 15th. www.mlkday.org