Youth Committee Promotes Community

Lindsay Wilson, Lifestyle Editor

Every month, several students come together at the Hacienda de las Flores to plan upcoming events in Moraga and discuss ways in which to get youth better involved in the community.

This committee of 12 students provides a voice for local youth and teenagers, creating community service opportunities, and promoting fun, safe activities for the town.

According to the director of the Moraga Youth Involvement Committee (MYIC) Kimberley Nelson, MYIC is a town council for youth that allows youth “opportunities for civil involvement” and “to make appropriate recommendations to the Town Council on youth related issues”. Essentially, MYIC is a youth run leadership organization that focuses on giving back to the community, gathering concerns from Moraga’s youth population, maintaining communication between such youth and the Town Council, and coordinating within the community and with other towns to promote town-wide activities.

Most of the students involved in MYIC are from Campolindo. Senior Victoria Target has been a part of the organization since 8th grade, when she was prompted to join by her sister. Target joined MYIC because she “likes giving back to the community by helping plan events and make connections”. Junior Kourosh Arasteh also enrolled in the council because of his desire to volunteer. Arasteh wanted to “help organize volunteer events”.

“I feel that it’s really important to be involved on a local level,” Aratesh explained.

According to Target, “the purpose of MYIC is to get the youth involved in the community and teach them useful skills.”

“It’s really about getting the youth more involved in planning community events,” Aratesh said.

As part of the organization, specifically with the role of vice chair, Target takes part in planning and putting on events for the community. Arasteh serves as the treasurer of MYIC.

According to Target, the monthly meetings consist of talking about upcoming events and discussing whether they are interested in getting involved with new projects. MYIC puts on annual movie nights, helps at the Tree Line Triathlon, works at a beach/creek clean up, and coordinates the Holiday Tree Lighting at the Moraga Commons.

Recently, the organization delivered homemade Valentines to a local rest home. “We wanted to connect with the elderly and brighten up their Valentine’s Day,” Target explained.

MYIC also works in partnership with the youth councils in Lafayette and Orinda. Last year, the organization held a service project at Sibley Volcanic Preserve where they picked weeds.

Target and Arasteh claim that MYIC is moving towards being more teen oriented. Because the organization provides Moraga youth with a voice, and, as Target aptly remarks, “giving teens an outlet for volunteering,” its members are trying to get other teenagers better involved in the community.

“We’re working on focusing on teen activities. We’re still in the development stages,” Arasteh mentioned.

Arasteh’s personal goal for the rest of his time with MYIC is to make activities in Moraga more approachable for teens. “I hope to adapt town events to be more accessible to high school students,” he said.

Target and Arasteh both like that the organization allows them to voice their opinion on certain aspects of Moraga, plan town events, and make connections from a leadership position.

“It’s self-fulfilling to give back to the community in a leading role,” Arasteh said.

MYIC will be accepting applications for the 2014 to 2015 term beginning in May. Students entering grades 7 to 12 who live in Moraga can apply by downloading the application from the Town of Moraga website,

“MYIC is a great opportunity for any student interested in municipal government, community service, and youth related activities,” Nelson said. “We look for enthusiastic, creative, and motivated volunteers with an interest in serving the community,” she added.