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NB Borough awards Junior Council Person 2020

NEW BETHLEHEM, Pa. (RVO) – The Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB) and New Bethlehem Borough Council in conjunction with the Redbank Valley School District, honored Junior Borough Person Aidan Griffin with the Distinguished Junior Council Person Award during Tuesday’s borough council meeting. New Bethlehem Borough Council is currently seeking applications to fill Mr. Griffin’s vacancy.

Aidan Griffin - New Bethlehem Borough Council 2020

Aidan Griffin – New Bethlehem Borough Council 2020 *Photo courtesy of the Leader-Vindicator

Griffin, a 2020 graduate of Redbank Valley High School, has served as the Junior Council Person (JCP) in New Bethlehem Borough since 2019. In his role, Griffin, actively participated in council meetings and community events. Although he could not vote or attend executive session, he said the experience gave him much greater insight to the inner-workings of local government.

“I wanted to become a Junior Council Person to gain an in-depth understanding of how local borough government functioned. I gained first-hand experience overseeing how local legislature decisions were made and it was very informative and related well to my interest in history and political science” Griffin said.

Aidan Griffin New Bethlehem PA

Aidan Griffin – New Bethlehem PA *Photo courtesy of Redbank Valley School District

Aidan participated in the Junior Council Person (JCP) Program which is a statewide initiative from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs that aims to get young people involved in their local communities. It allowed Aidan to take an active role in the governing process of New Bethlehem Borough and brought a young, fresh perspective to our municipality. 

New Bethlehem Mayor and JCP Chairman Gordon Barrows shared, “While the JCP does not have an official vote on Council, he or she does have a voice and an official seat at the table. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that actively engages borough officials, the Redbank Valley School District and the youth. It also allows borough officials to serve as mentors to students who will be future leaders in their communities.”

The New Bethlehem Borough JCP Program provided Aidan the opportunity to learn critical skills including team building and collaboration, public speaking, public engagement, budgeting, and running effective meetings. It also allowed Aidan the opportunity to deliberate on issues that affected our community.

Junior Council Person - New Bethlehem PA *Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB)

Junior Council Person – New Bethlehem PA *Courtesy of the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB)

While PSAB representatives could not attend due to COVID-19, Borough Council along with Mayor Barrows presented Mr. Griffin with a framed certificate/award as well as a ‘letter of recommendation’ to aid in future professional development opportunities.

While serving as a Junior Borough Council Member, Griffin also participated in various extracurricular activities including Future Business Leaders of America, National Honors Society, Soccer, Track & Field and Student Council.

This Fall, Griffin will be attending Indiana University for a major in Safety Science.

“I’m pleased to see our local government officials on New Bethlehem Borough Council working alongside the Redbank Valley School District to build, retain and strengthen opportunities for local youth to actively engage in the New Bethlehem area and Redbank Valley community,” explained Barrows.

JUNIOR PROGRAM SUCCESSION:
New Bethlehem Borough Council is currently seeking high school Juniors and Seniors who live within the Borough, who are interested in applying for the JCP Program.

For more information about the Borough’s JCP Program, including guidelines, requirements and application, please visit: NewBethlehemBoro.com/Junior-Council-Person

ABOUT JUNIOR PROGRAM:
The Junior Council Person (JCP) Program is a statewide initiative from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs (PSAB), which aims to get young people involved in their local communities. It allows for youth to take an active role in the governing process of their municipalities and brings a young, fresh perspective to communities across the state. The Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce modeled their Junior Chamber program from PSAB’s structure.

While a JCP does not have an official vote on the Board, he or she does have a voice and an official seat at the table. It is a mutually beneficial relationship for both the directors and the youth. It also allows board members to serve as mentors to students who will be future leaders in their communities.

The JCP Program will allow high school students the opportunity to learn critical skills including team building and collaboration, public speaking, event management, public engagement, budgeting, and running effective meetings. It also will allow the student the opportunity to deliberate on issues that are affecting his or her community.

The JCP Program guidelines include:

  • Junior Council Persons should be a borough resident
  • Junior Chamber Persons should be a resident of Redbank Valley School District
  • The Borough/Chamber can have more than one JCP serving at a time.
  • Juniors and Seniors in high school are encouraged to apply.
  • Students should write a letter of interest to board of directors outlining why they want to be a JCP.
  • An interview process with board members will occur.
  • Once selected, the JCP should take the “Junior Person Pledge.”
  • JCPs may be appointed to one-or two-year terms.
  • Attendance is required at monthly meetings.
  • A Junior Person shall not receive compensation.
  • JCPs will be seated with the board of directors, participate in organization business, and observe all organizational rules.
  • JCPs cannot vote or participate in executive session.
  • Attendance at budget sessions, committee meetings, public hearings, and community events is encouraged.
  • Junior Persons shall serve at the direction of the Board and may be removed at any time, for any reason, at the discretion of the directors.
  • To earn the Distinguished JCP Award, the student should serve for a minimum of six months, having attended a majority of board meetings.

APPLICANTS: 
BOROUGH: Students living in New Bethlehem Borough may complete this application form: NewBethlehemBoro.com/junior-council-person

CHAMBER: Students living in the Redbank Valley School District may complete this application form: RedbankChamber.com/junior-chamber-person

*Applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview.

MEETINGS:
BOROUGH: New Bethlehem Borough meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:30pm at the Alltel/Windstream Building on Lafayette Street.

CHAMBER: Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce meetings are held the 2nd Thursday of each month at 12 noon at the Redbank Valley Public Library.

CONTACT:
BOROUGH: To contact any member of Council or the Borough’s office, please visit: NewBethlehemBoro.com/about and click the ‘Council’ tab. You may also ‘like/follow’ New Bethlehem Borough on Facebook for the latest news: Facebook.com/NewBethlehem

CHAMBER: To contact the Chamber office, please call the Redbank Valley Chamber of Commerce at 814.275.3929 or [email protected] You may also ‘like/follow’ the Chamber of Commerce on Facebook for the latest news: Facebook.com/RVChamber