Award-winning Wellington Youth Council serves, inspires local community

Sarah Sondermann, Managing Editor

Volunteering, winning awards, and inspiring others is only a fraction of what the students who are part of Wellington’s Youth Council do to impact and influence their community. 

The Wellington Youth council consists of students from Palm Beach Central and Wellington High School. Each school has a mayor, vice mayor, and multiple representatives. These students work together to create activities that local teens can take part in to feel more engaged in the Wellington community. Events can range from tutorings to dodgeball tournaments against local schools. 

“Our goal is to have as much youth participation in the events in order to make teens feel engaged in their community,” said junior Dailany Echeverria, mayor of the Youth Council. 

Along with volunteering in numerous places throughout the Wellington area, these students put together a larger project to generate an even greater community impact. Last year, the project was HYPE or Helping Youth by Providing Empowerment. The HYPE program allowed high school students to tutor middle and elementary school children for free. The program gained a large amount of popularity within Wellington, leading to accolades from the Wellington Council. 

“I definitely loved attending the HYPE tutorings,” shared senior and representative on the Wellington Youth Council Skylar Finkel. “It was so heartwarming to help these children who needed it the most.”

Another impactful event put on by this council was the dodgeball tournament against Palm Beach Central and Wellington High School. Each school ended up having 8 teams, and Palm Beach Central won the tournament. All of the proceeds made at this event went towards Dance Marathon.

“The dodgeball tournament was such a fun event that boosted a lot of morale and got people pumped for Dance Marathon, which was the following week,” said Senior and vice mayor of the Wellington Youth Council Morgann Rhule. 

Due to COVID, the Youth Council has not been allowed to put on any in-person events, so they had to go virtual this year. During Halloween, they hosted a “whodunit” night where two people were the suspects and those participating had to deduce who committed a fictional crime. 

The hard work from this council has allowed them to win multiple awards through the Wellington Council. The first award they won was the Community Service Award due to their HYPE program. Another award they won was the Photography Competition Award by taking a photo of Wellington’s local 9/11 memorial. 

“Winning these awards made me feel awesome for sure,” exclaimed Echeverria. “I felt super accomplished and extremely proud of my council because all of our hard work and team effort paid off.”

In order to be a part of this council, students have to show their hard work and dedication in PBC’s Student Government Association first. From there, Mr. Corederio and Mrs. Baxter consider the students interested and split them up into groups to participate in the Wellington Youth Council, show the diversity of thought that Palm Beach Central displays. 

“We believe that the Wellington Youth Council is an amazing opportunity for the students and Palm Beach Central,” said SGA Advisor Mr. Cordeiro. “It allows our school to have a voice on different events right in our community.”

Those a part of the youth council include junior Dailany Echeverria (Mayor), senior Morgann Rhule (Vice Mayor), and seniors Lindsey Baldwin, Skylar Finkel, and Makayla Dessalines (Representatives). The younger representatives of the council include juniors Haley Randolph and Korina Pierre along with freshman Reid Snider, who are all Representatives. 

This council impacts more than just the Wellington community; it impacts the students on it as well. On this council, students learn problem-solving skills, leadership skills, and time management skills that help them grow into stronger members of the community.

“Being involved with the Youth Council has given me a newfound appreciation for my community and those leaders within it,” expressed Finkel. “I have always enjoyed being involved in my community, but being a leader within our local government is a whole other step that I did not see myself taking.”

With a large majority of the members on this council being seniors, the skills learned from this opportunity impact their future careers. 

“I want to be a psychiatrist, and that means I will have to work with a lot of different people from different age groups,” said Morgann Rhule. “Being on the youth council has allowed me to work with and impact all different types of people in the community which is always rewarding.” 

The Wellington Youth Council is committed to fostering students in helping them become leaders all while giving back to their community. Although many seniors will be leaving the council this year, younger representatives will rise to the position to make the community a better place for all. 

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