To the Editor:
We, the Teen Action Committee, would like to address the article regarding the allocation of the Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) funds.
At the regular meeting on Oct. 8, Creston town council was told, “A four year, $100,000.00 Columbia Basin Trust grant will be spent on providing programs for Creston Valley’s Youth, and not on creating a permanent youth centre.” We would like to address this as old and inaccurate information.
The Teen Action Committee (TAC) plans to use the $100,000 in many different ways over the next four years. In the first year, we plan to create and build awareness by hosting a series of activities and events for youth in the Creston Valley. In the second year, we plan to build upon existing programs and look toward developing a permanent youth centre. In the third year, we will be looking for sustainable funding for the youth centre. In the fourth and final year, we should have completed or have plans for a youth centre that will be accessible at more youth-friendly times. All the while, we will be hosting fundraising events for the centre.
Our funding will be used for programs to increase our budget to attain our final goal of establishing a permanent youth centre. When we first applied for the CBT grant, the top three needs expressed were hiring a co-ordinator, attaining a youth centre and hosting teen based programs and events.
The article also mentions, “After the four years are up, there should be a clearer indication of whether a youth space is needed or of existing facilities are the best answer.” The Teen Action Committee strongly feels that the existing facilities are not an adequate solution, as they are not directed specifically towards the needs of the Creston youth. We think the facilities need to be bigger, require teen-friendly hours (such as 9 a.m.-11 p.m.) and boast a teen atmosphere. Although we are very grateful and do appreciate of the space that we have been allowed to use thus far, we do have higher goals and ambitions for a teen space in the Creston Valley. The Teen Action Committee has every intention to see this through over the next four years, regardless of how the funding is put to use.
We ask that any future questions regarding how the funds are being utilized, what the Teen Action Committee is planning or even how you can get involved with events or programming, be directed to teen advocate Ashley Allin-Gareau at firstname.lastname@example.org, or official TAC representatives Isaac Miller or Tierney Hula. We are open to answering any questions any of you may have.
Ashley Allin-Gareau, Teen Advocate,
on behalf of the Teen Action Committee