The Fort Saskatchewan Youth Council grew to five members. 

14-year-old Ava Bendick is the newest member after being appointed at last Tuesday’s city council meeting in a unanimous vote. 

Bendick moved to the community about six years ago from Edmonton. 

"When I heard about the Youth Council from Kristie Wahl at the Youth Festival back in June I just felt like it was an opportunity to give back to the town that made me feel so welcome.” 

Councilor Birgit Blizzard interviewed Bendick as part of the process and says she is a perfect fit for the council. 

“I think she was a good fit because [the Youth Council] have a few members that are in university so it was nice to have a younger person’s perspective,” said Blizzard. “This was another chance for her to get involved in the community.” 

The group is in its early stages of existence, having been approved last November. Kristi Wahl, the Youth and Family Coordinator for Fort Saskatchewan, works as an administrative support for the council. 

“The Youth Council’s purpose is to educate and empower youth to provide information and recommendations to council in relation to issues that impact or involve youth,” said Wahl. “We meet once a month and it consists of youth aged 15 to 24.” 

The council is still in the process of getting up and running. At the moment they have been focusing on getting to know how the city operates and all the ins and outs of local government. 

“From that, this Fall we are hoping to create four pillars that we are going to really focus on for the next year and a half.” 

There is still quite a bit of room left on the council for local youth to serve. At the moment just five of 14 seats are being taken up. Interested youth are encouraged to apply through the City of Fort Saskatchewan. 

Bendick urges those interested in joining to believe in their own ability to help others around them. 

“If you have high self-esteem just believe in yourself and, if you don’t, well I can believe in you for you.”