Last year while visiting Fairhope High School, Fairhope Mayor Karin Wilson shared her vision for a Junior City Council, and junior Mimi Tran was immediately intrigued. She followed up with the mayor to express her passion for public service and her desire to pursue a career in urban studies and sustainable community development. Wilson and Tran met to discuss their ideas and the collaborative result is the Fairhope Junior City Council (FJCC)—a liaison between Fairhope youth and the city.
“We need to listen to the leaders of our future and it’s important that they take an active role from an early age,” says Wilson. “We had 40 applications for the Junior Council. Students want to be active members of their community and it is because of Mimi’s follow-up and tenacity that we are finally starting this opportunity.”
As a senior this year, Tran will serve as the President and student coordinator to help jumpstart the FJCC, which is composed of 10 dedicated and innovative students from Fairhope High School and Bayside Academy. They will strive to engage more youth in local politics and be a catalyst to student-led community development. In addition to having their own meetings, FJCC members will attend council meetings, director round table meetings and city committee meetings, and will be tasked with keeping peers apprised of city government happenings.
“This regular interaction will serve as both a learning experience for FJCC members and as a way for us to communicate our ideas to local leaders,” Tran explains. “I want this group of students to instill between themselves and others the power of their voices. We are empowered with voices that matter—we just have to speak up.”