“I am impressed’: FHSD student behind St. Charles Mayor’s Youth Advisory Task Force

Posted on 02/16/2022
St. Charles Mayor's Youth Advisory Task Force
The St. Charles Mayor's Youth Advisory Task Force is a collaboration between area school districts and the City of St. Charles. The new program encourages young people to become active in the community by contributing in meaningful ways. In addition to giving back, student participants gain a greater knowledge and understanding of how local government operates.

The group is open to students ages 16-20 who currently attend classes at a St. Charles County high school or college. This year’s task force is made up of students from six high schools.

Three students represent the Francis Howell School District. Brianna Ammons and Manisha Muthukaruppan both attend Francis Howell North. Francis Howell Central Senior Téa Perez is the President and founder.

St. Charles Mayor Dan Borgmeyer said Perez sent him a very passionate and informative email suggesting the formation of a group of young people that could share ideas with their elected politicians.

“Her email to me explained how she was surprised the city didn’t already have a youth forum. The email said we are the future. We have a lot of great ideas,” Borgmeyer explained.

The mayor agreed and quickly took Perez up on her offer to form a special committee. He reached out to superintendents and started working with principals to select students from both public and private schools across the county. 

“I started researching and searching for a youth-led initiative I could join when I realized one didn’t exist. I emailed the Mayor. It was really that easy. He emailed me back right away saying he wanted to talk with me about my vision,” said Perez.

Bettering St. Charles and the entire region was exactly why Perez started the task force. She knew there were many young people, like herself, that wanted to volunteer and find ways to give back. 

“I am impressed with Ms. Perez’s enthusiasm and am thrilled we put together this strategic committee,” Borgmeyer said. “This is bettering our community. They aren’t just talking. They are doing.”

The Mayor asked the task force to come up with goals that would be attainable during the school year. The Task Force thought about what they wanted to accomplish and came up with three focus areas - Communication, Youth Services, and a Mural Competition.  The group presented a detailed plan outlining their goals to the Mayor and the St. Charles City Council. The task force received its approval to pursue the three goals in October 2021. Since then, the group continues to meet once a month to make sure they are executing their goals.  

“Our first goal was really to improve communication. This includes creating a branding document with fonts, colors and a social media plan to help strengthen the brand and reach the younger population,” said Perez.

“We wanted to make sure that young people living, working and playing in St. Charles knew what was going on. This includes job opportunities, trends, events, where to volunteer, economic development and activities.”

The task force will be launching its own Instagram and Twitter page in 2022 to help reach the target audience.

The task force’s second goal was creating a youth service day.

“By working directly with the mayor to prompt positive change in the city with a focus on the youth, we created this day of service. A day to bring people together, to volunteer, pick up trash and get to know each other better. Just make the city even more beautiful,” Perez said.

The final project, a mural competition, will be on display for everybody who visits Frenchtown this spring. 

“I am happy to announce that the task force’s primary objective is to do a mural campaign. This is going to bring color and even more culture to Frenchtown,” Mayor Borgmeyer explained. “I’m very big on that kind of energy in Frenchtown. It’s the vibey part of St. Charles and is a growing business and tourist destination. People want to visit and they will love the new murals.”

The painting process will begin this spring.

The facilitator of the City of St. Charles Mayor's Youth Advisory Task Force, Susan Sams, says this mural project will take a lot of time, paint and volunteers. The task force is currently looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of painting materials. 

“I really enjoy being a small part of this group because of the passion every student displays. The group is student-led. These are their ideas that are coming to life. These students are a force to be reckoned with,” said Sams.

If you are interested in serving on the St. Charles Mayor's Youth Advisory Council or have questions you can email the group by clicking here. The student recruitment process will begin in March 2022.

Members of the 2021-2022 St. Charles Mayor's Youth Advisory Council

Téa Perez – Chair, Francis Howell Central  
Brianna Ammons – Vice Chair, Francis Howell North 
Ella Sulwer – Secretary, St. Charles High 
Matt Fichtenmayer – Duchesne High 
Justin Abegg – Duchesne High 
Manisha Muthukaruppan – Francis Howell North 
Kylie Williams – Orchard Farm 
Maegan Hayes – St. Charles High  
Sophia Prost – St. Charles West High 
Lea Mitchell – St. Charles West High 
Madison Pegg – CAPS/St. Charles Community College 
Mayor Dan Borgmeyer – Leadership 
Susan Sams – Facilitator Advisory Leader, Business Professional/Entrepreneur 
Nick Galla – City Department Advisory Leader  
Christopher Kyle – Councilman Advisory Leader 

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