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New York Mills student Heather Weller, third from left, with her mother, Kristi Weller, to her right, Representative Pam Myhra on her left, and District 7 Youth Council member Hannah Holt. Submitted photo

NYM student is making a difference at the Capitol

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Minnesota Alliance With Youth hosted a Swearing In Ceremony at the Minnesota Capitol on Sept. 16 to honor participants of the Minnesota Youth Council.

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Heather Weller of New York Mills and her adult sponsor, her mom Kristi Weller, represent District 7 on the council.

Members of the council represent each of the state’s eight congressional districts, as well as an at-large district. The council is a collaboration of youth and adults from around the state. It provides youth with a forum to exercise their voice by connecting and mobilizing them through partnerships with the state legislature, Youthprise, and Department of Education.

Minnesota Alliance With Youth is an organization committed to advocating with and for youth to ensure that all young people have access to the fundamental resources they need to be successful.

Representative Pam Myhra officially swore the council members in. Dan Solomon, from U.S. Senator Al Franken’s office, was also in attendance, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar wrote a letter that was read to all of the participants, thanking them for their service.

Heather is the daughter of Dean and Kristi Weller, and the granddaughter of Joe and Joanne Weller of Henning and Ben and Rita Landwehr of Wadena, Minn.

Heather is honored to be a member of the Youth Council, she said, because “I have lived all my life in a very small town. I hear often from other students that they feel that youth in the area aren’t heard, don’t have many opportunities and don’t get much recognition for what they do accomplish. I am honored to represent the youth in small towns and all over Minnesota by being a voice for them by sharing their questions, concerns and ideas and getting their issues recognized. I think it is important that all Minnesota youth of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds are represented. It is essential that the voices of our youth be heard.”

Heather is also a member of the Youth Council Policy Committee. She will be part of a group that will meet directly with legislators at the Capitol to have a voice in policy making. Share concerns with Heather at heatherweller.mnyouthcouncil@gmail.com

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