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23 Aug

Teens represent Havasu at ‘Future of Arizona’ challenge

Havasu News Staff reports

The future of Lake Havasu City is in the hands of eight teenagers.

Members of the Havasu Youth Advisory Council are at Arizona State University to compete in the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Youth Conference.

The group is made up of Carla Betancourt, Tatum Bracamonte, Cheyenne Halfacre-Buie, Hayden Lintz, Garrett McNerney, Stephanie Nelson, Jersey Orias and Ella Wofford.

 The conference will pit the team against two other youth councils, the Surprise Youth Council and the Young River People.

The teams were selected by The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University’s Office of Entrepreneurship + Innovation to kick off a civic engagement challenge. Each team is competing for seed funding to start projects that encourage a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and civic engagement among high school students in their towns.

The youth councils will compete for a grand prize of $750 to implement their civic engagement intervention. The second place prize is $500 and the third place is $250.

The youth councils met during the summer at ASU in Tempe for a day of leadership training to help kick off the competition.

“A couple of key takeaways from the training were the ability to build upon our idea and then implement it into our community,” said Lake Havasu High School senior Garrett McNerney in a news release.

 HYAC hit the ground running when they returned and have been working over the summer with community leaders and residents to choose a civic health behavior that would make a long term impact.

They chose to “take actions to build the community by working with neighbors to fix something.” Without giving too much away to the competitors, the project is geared toward improving retention of good teachers.

This was one of the major issues that was brought up by community members at the Town Hall in August 2015 for the America’s Best Communities prize competition discussion.

The youth councils will begin their pitch presentations at 5 p.m.

Watch it live on Facebook at