From new city ordinances to building codes and annexation requests, the local government plays a role in every aspect of its community, but who will be making these key decisions 20 or 30 years from now?
It will be kids who are pro-actively taking the first step to learn more about the way their government works.
Tyler Glennon, an 11th grader, says, "It's a great experience for people my age to just see the background work of the community and see who really runs Valdosta and how it works."
Leaders at City Hall say programs like these that target our youth help eliminate any misconceptions about how the city government is run and also builds bridges between the adults and youth in our community.
Mayor John Fretti says, "We're kind of a mystique to a lot of folks such as what we do, is it a closed-door type of entity. We want to let them in and say no. In fact, you can walk in anytime and see what we're doing and get involved as well."
It’s a commitment that plays a key role in getting these kids actively involved in local politics at an early age.
Evette Mills, chairman of Lowndes Youth Program, says, "We have to focus on them. We have to develop them, and if you don't expose them to what's in the community, if you don't introduce them to the things that make the community work, they're not going to know and they're not going to be involved."
It’s something leaders in Valdosta and Lowndes County are working to change.