122016Mar

Chantel Nugent: Investing in young people is investing in Merced

During last week’s town hall meeting, Merced residents made it clear: Our youth deserve long-term and meaningful investment.
Many folks cited a need to support the Youth Council because in many other cities across California, youth councils, when supported and developed properly, provide an array of pathways for young people – like me – to make a real difference in their communities.
Voters and residents might have different ideas about how to invest in youth, but it seems everyone is clear on why they should. The fact is, young residents truly are the future of Merced. According to the U.S Census Bureau’s 2015 estimates, 44.6 percent (36,465) of the City of Merced’s current 81,743 residents are under the age of 24.
Merced is young and will continue to get younger as UC Merced continues to expand to 10,000-plus students. The city of Merced’s Youth Council represents a great opportunity for the city to be forward thinking on issues related to education, quality of life, jobs and the economy. Let’s transform our thinking to transform our city.
CHANTEL NUGENT, MERCED
Read it on the Merced Sun Star