Ben Frandsen, currently a senior at La Canada High School, was appointed to the Youth Council by our City Council, from a competitive field of candidates. Subsequently, he was nominated by his Youth Council peers to chair the Youth Council this past year. The honor of chairing the Youth Council is fitting, as Ben constantly is the first to volunteer to take the lead on projects, and is always present at community volunteer events. As the city staff liaison to the Youth Council, I’ve had the pleasure of watching his efforts during the past year. He has taken the expectations of Youth Council members to a new level during his two-year term, which expires on May 31st, 2005.
Ben is an exemplary young individual who has mobilized his community in a positive direction. He has identified youth needs in La Canada Flintridge (LCF) and has initiated and actively participated in programs to address those needs. A description of some of his programs that he’s been instrumental during his Youth Council tenure include:
Teen WORCS Fair. He represented the city at the LCF Work Opportunity Resources and Community Services (WORCS) fair, which the Youth Council co-sponsored with the local YMCA and Roger Barkley Community Center. This fair show cased community service organizations and local businesses, allowing local youths to identify volunteer opportunities with local organizations. Ben and the Youth Council, as well as local community groups, identified a need for this program as youths were having trouble finding such opportunities. This first time fair, that will become an annual event, included over 30 community service groups and was well attended by the local youths.
FlintFest. This first time teen film festival, held in May 2005, allowed local youths (ages 13-19) to enter their student produced films for showcasing and awards competition. Ben, who is active in his high school arts department at La Canada High School, was instrumental in securing the support of his high school’s drama department in the film festival. FlintFest was a great success and drew a crowd of over five hundred. Ben has also stated that his drama arts teacher felt the event was such a great success that his teacher is now motivating his students to do their best work on their semester projects and submit them to the up.
Youth Master Plan. Ben serves on the Youth Council Master Plan Sub-Committee. He is in the continual process of revising and improving the Youth Master Plan – a plan that lays out short and long-term goals to facilitate programs, events and activities to improve the quality of life for the youths of LCF. The sub-committee enlisted the input from over 40 community groups and a survey of over 2,200 local students; this input was used to revise the plan for which Ben presented before the City Council for adoption.
Youth Talent Show. Ben and his fellow Youth Council members are in the process of implementing the first city sponsored Youth Talent Show. The show will be held in conjunction with the city’s Music-in-the-Park Summer Series, which is organized by the city’s park and recreation commission. Ben has played a substantial role in developing the program and also received a positive reaction from his presentation of the concept to the parks and recreation commission.
Not only is Ben Frandsen an exemplary Youth Council Member, he also excels in his academic efforts. He received the highest SAT score at his high school and is a straight A student. Beyond academics, Ben is also a valuable member of his high school’s soccer and water polo teams. Additionally, he is an active member of his school’s Math Club, German Club and KEY (Kiwanis) Club.