Elk Grove Youth Fair Draws Big Crowd, Links Teens With Opportunities

By Adrian Espinoza, Special to Elk Grove News | March 24, 2014 | My name is Adrian Espinoza. As a sophomore at Franklin High Sch...

By Adrian Espinoza, Special to Elk Grove News | March 24, 2014 |

My name is Adrian Espinoza. As a sophomore at Franklin High School, I have been a part of The Elk Grove Youth Commission since I was 14 years old. 

I still remember my first event as a Youth Commissioner; we worked so hard and struggled to get 50 teens to show up to our Teen Town Hall. Fast forward a couple of years and it has been so rewarding to see the fruits of our hard work. 

The Elk Grove Youth Commission had our Youth Fair this past Saturday, and the response from our peers was overwhelming. 

“We had over 250 teens and 25 vendors” said Angela Frost, the city’s advisor to the Youth Commission. 

There were dozens of vendors showcasing community service, internships and jobs opportunities. One of the vendors at the event was PG&E, who was offering jobs for this coming summer.

The idea for the Elk Grove Youth Fair was hatched by the commissioners during last year's Teen Town Hall Forum. There were several students that told us they needed more ways to stay busy and they also shared with us their desire to find internships and jobs. 

“As a youth commissioner, I felt like we needed to help them by showing the teens that we actually do put what they tell us to play by creating new events that help the teens be heard throughout the city of Elk Grove” said Nermeen Rehimtoola, Chair of the Youth Commission. 

Commissioner, Shivani Parikh added that it was “nice to see that our youth interact and want to help out in the community.”

Walking through the event talking to vendors, teens, parents and journalists, it was evident to me how many of my peers enjoyed bringing friends and how the vendors loved talking to teens about internships, jobs and recreational activities. 

“This event was a huge success and I am glad teens walked out with new contacts and information from various vendors” added Frost at the end of the event. 

Franklin High School students Samantha, Cassandra, and Charlah told me that, there where many volunteer opportunities and that the Youth Fair was helpful. It was great to hear when they said they would bring more friends for a future event. 

As a member of the so called Millenials, I am glad to be part of the Elk Grove Youth Commission team that is showing with its work that we're not part of a lazy, uncaring generation. We are going to continue this successful event in future years and will analyze our surveys to see how we can improve the Youth Fair and other events organized by the commission.  

The commission encourages all Elk Grove teens to get involved. Let your voices be heard. Everyone is welcome to stop by for a chat, share your personal experiences at our events and even give ideas about future events at our Youth Commission meetings. 

Regular meetings of the Elk Grove Youth Commission are held every 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. in the City Council chambers. 

Two years into my appointment as a Youth Commissioner, I am very proud of how much progress we have all made and of the fact, that if we set our minds and put our ideas to play, it can be a great success like this event and maybe even better ones in the future. 

We Commissioners believe that “Elk Grove is the place to be” and we are working to make it happen. Join us!

A sophomore at Franklin High School, Adrian Espinoza is the Elk Grove Youth Commission's Communication Officer Co-Chair.

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Connie said...

Nice job Adrian on your Op Ed here!

Of all of the proposals the Elk Grove Community Connection put forth to the Elk Grove City Council for approval, this is one of which we are very proud. What the city of Elk Grove Youth’s Commission has done with what was a proposal back in 2008 is simply awe-inspiring.

So when the naysayers write about “The Crazies,” and the “Monday Morning Quarterbacks,” who contribute to this website, we are among them, and when we read Op Ed like this, we are proud of it!

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