Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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Dec. 9, 2005

Area High School Students Keep Busy through YAC Service Projects

By Lindsay Schad, YAC Member
11th Grade, Altmar-Parish-Williamstown High School

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is an organization of 31 students from the nine school districts in Oswego County that come together to help create and advise youth organizations. YAC meets on the first Thursday of every month in Mexico.

So far this year, YAC has done a resource allocation review, where a speaker came in with many youth programs and asked our opinion as youth if the programs were valuable and how they affect the students. YAC has also had guest speakers come in and talk to us as teens about the issues we face every day so we can help other needy teens.

Recently, YAC held its 10th annual bowl-a-thon. The students of YAC collect pledges and the proceeds are donated to a worthy cause. Each year YAC holds this event around Christmas time. This year the students raised between $400 and $500, which will be donated to University Hospital's new Children's Hospital in Syracuse. Youth Advisory Council members also participate in Santa's Helpers.

Young children cared for in the Oswego County BOCES program write letters to Santa about what they want for Christmas. As Santa's helpers, the YAC members write the children back and deliver the letters. Seeing the children's gratitude and amazement that they received a letter from Santa is adorable and heart-warming.

I am a member of YAC and it is an amazing program. Being with 30 other teens and trying to make a difference in our Oswego County is so rewarding. The program is run through the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, which runs other youth programs as well. Youth Advisory Council is filled with high school teens that want to make our county a better place, especially for youth of all ages.

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