West Park – A City Where Young People Thrive

VICE MAYOR FELICIA M. BRUNSON

One of West Park’s top priorities is ‘community collaboration for youth well-being,’ an important goal for all of us. Yet we see daily how our young people are struggling in many ways. Some of our children feel burdened by pressure, academic and otherwise, as they strive to achieve in a community where achievement is a significant cultural influence.

What are these children doing when they are not in school? Is a caring adult available to supervise them during the nonschool hours? Are they participating in enriching activities-activities that can develop their potential, build their confidence, and help them in their schoolwork? We, in the City of West Park, are blessed with an array of resources, many dedicated to our young people. Our kids attend topnotch schools. Our summer camps program is an annual sell-out. We are home to two phenomenal parks- McTyre and Mary Saunders. And we also have the Carver Ranches Boys and Girls Club in our city. We offer hands-on programs for children and many enrichment activities through the City.

Once the last school bell rings, under the leadership of your City Commission and staff, we have committed to ensuring the success of our youth. As a community we recognize that our youth are a large percentage of our population but 100% of our future. The City of West Park is committed to our area youth in all age ranges and has programs and offerings to support and grow our future leaders. Resources available to youth in West Park include but are not limited to:

1. Youth Council
2. Education Advisory Board
3. Scholarships
4.Community Service hour projects: Relay for Life, Thanksgiving and Holiday Toy Giveaway
5. Carver Ranches Boys and Girls Club
6. McTyre Park
7. Mary Saunders Park
8. Hurricanes Athletic Association
9. Martial Arts
10. Spring Break Camp
11. Winter Break Camp
12. Non-School/ Teacher Planning Day Camp
13. Knights of Pythagoras
14. Sisters of Tomorrow
15. Shani Speaks
16. Summer camp program
17. Basketball leagues
18. Carver Ranches library
19. PreCision Summer Mentoring program for teenage girls

Yes, the opportunities for our area youth can be improved. Many things that do not exist now for our youth will be created in the future. Enhancing the quality of existing youth programs and increasing the number of programs available will involve all elements of our community. Whether it is an artist coming into an after school program to teach kids pottery or if it is a policeman playing football with 3rd graders on the field after school, the mission is all the same: the adults in our community are connecting with the children of our community and they are working to provide our children with the best experience in life. The opportunities to create a wonderful world of experiences for our youth are endless when many hands are put to the plow.

So what will the future look like in relation to the programs available to our youth now? What could we develop in our young people that is not presently in place? The answer does not lie with just one person: it is our whole community that can pool its resources to create the best. It is the weaving of a strong fabric in our community by creating connections and relationships between organizations, corporations, adults and youth doing meaningful activities together. Through the work and diligence of many partnerships, the abundant resources our community offers, and the commitment of each of us, West Park will and continue to shine as a community where young people thrive.

Remember to contact me at City Hall with your ideas, suggestions or concerns. I represent you and appreciate your input into the continued success of our beloved city. I can be reached at (954) 889-4164 or email fbrunson@cityofwestpark.org.

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