Goshen High School elected its new youth adviser during an election held Tuesday, May 23. Jason Barahona, who is now finishing his junior year, will be the youth adviser for the 2017-2018 school year.
State law allows mayors to appoint a person younger than 18 years of age to serve as an adviser to the council on matters concerning the youth. Mayor Jeremy Stutsman has instead encouraged Goshen High School to elect a student to represent them and all the younger constituents in the City.
Jason won by receiving 60 percent of the total votes cast in Tuesday’s election, over his fellow candidates, Anna Paetkau and Cade Fisher. On Wednesday morning, current youth adviser Jake Biller handed Jason his notes on everything he learned during his time with the council.
“It’s been a great experience for me,” Jake said about serving as a youth adviser. “I’ve learned a lot, I’ve made a lot of connections, and I’m grateful for the council, the mayor and the whole city for allowing me to be a part of city government, and just being in on the legislative process. It opened my eyes to what city government actually does.”
After graduating this spring, Jake will go to Ball State University, where he will pursue a degree in telecommunications.
Jason thanked the school and the city for getting students involved in local government, and commended Anna and Cade for running in the elections. Like Jake, Jason looks forward to learning more about local government.
“By becoming a youth adviser I can better understand what local government looks like and see what I can do in this position to improve my community or to involve more people who otherwise wouldn’t get involved,” he said.
Mayor Jeremy Stutsman thanked the candidates who ran for their dedication and for showing interest in participating in local government and said he is looking forward to working with Jason.
“It was great to spend the morning in the schools talking to the students and watching as they voted,” Mayor Stutsman said. “I am excited to see they have completed the process and I will be honored to appoint Jason as the 2nd Youth Adviser to the Goshen City Council.”