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Appalachia students on constituency youth council learning from involvement in programs

Gudie Hutchings, left, MP for Long Range Mountains Riding, poses for a photo with two members of her constituency youth council, Emily Tobin and Kyle Cook.
Gudie Hutchings, left, MP for Long Range Mountains Riding, poses for a photo with two members of her constituency youth council, Emily Tobin and Kyle Cook. - Frank Gale

Two Appalachia High School senior students who are members of the Long Range Mountains Constituency Youth Council are amazed at “how nice it is to be making a difference” since getting involved.

Kyle Cook said being with youth council has definitely opened him to a lot when it comes to community involvements and he’s sure that will continue as he makes his way through life.

Emily Tobin said it really feels good to see that they are able to help out in meeting people’s needs in the community through their projects.

The youth council is composed of young people throughout the riding who meet several times each year with the MP Gudie Hutchings and her staff to discuss important issues that matter to youth and their communities.

Members of the council share their ideas, opinions and concerns on a selection of topics with each other and their MP.

Cook and Tobin have been involved in meetings with the youth council about twice a month via Skype for two years now and have done different programs, including a food drive, a clothing drive and the most recent — a toiletry drive in collaboration with the Bay St. George Status of Women Council.

Their next task is to carry out a survey on issues that concern youth, which is expected to completed by sometime in May.

“The turnout to our clothing drive was amazing and people in need left with a lot of clothes,” Tobin, who plans to do an occupational health and safety course when she completes school before going to Cape Breton University to pursue a degree in public health, said.

Cook has been accepted in St. Mary’s University in Halifax, N.S., to work on a degree in astrophysics. His long term goal is to one day be a university professor.

But it’s his involvement in the constituency youth council that has him making plans on joining Habitat for Humanity at St. Mary’s.

Both plan to stay in the constituency youth council as long as they can.

The youth council is open to any youth in the Long Range Mountains Riding. Interested youth can contact Hutchings’ office at: (709) 637-4540.

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