Chapel Hill plans four youth forums

Staff reportsOctober 8, 2013 

— The town is asking teens, tweens and other residents to participate in a series of public events to kick off Chapel Hill’s new youth initiative, “Chapel Hill 4 YOUth.”

The Town Council made new approaches to programming for youth a priority during its 2013-14 budget process. The Youth Initiative will investigate how to better meet young people’s needs through four community forums aimed at four groups:

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24 – Street Scene Teen Center (179 E. Franklin St. under Post Office) – Audience Focus: Youth

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30 – Hargraves Community Center – Audience Focus: Parents/Advocates

• Noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 7 – Chapel Hill Public Library – Audience Focus: Nonprofit Organizations and Service Providers (must register for Youth Forward Summit to attend - details forthcoming from www.chcyouth.org.

• 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13 – Chapel Hill Public Library – Audience Focus: General Public

Young people in Chapel Hill, especially 12- to 18-year-olds, are an under-served population, according to a town news release. In a college town environment dominated by a major university, the youth who grow up in Chapel Hill are sometimes overlooked.

For the past several months, an advisory committee has met regularly to begin shaping this effort as part of the ongoing Chapel Hill 2020 community planning process. In the coming months, there will be a complete inventory of youth service offerings with the goal of addressing gaps and eliminating overlap.

In addition to the meetings, community outreach will include an online and paper survey; and online community feedback opportunities. This initiative will extend through the spring and culminate in the second annual Teen Week and Youth Fest in April. To take the online survey, go to townofchapelhill.org/youth. The community outreach effort will result in a comprehensive report to Town Council.

For more information or to get involved, contact Samathryn Witham at youth@townofchapelhill.org.

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