ORANGE – It’s often said that the best way to predict the future is to create it. With that idea in mind, two dozen local teens are stepping up to have a say in the future of transportation in Orange County.
The Orange County Transportation Authority this month held a kickoff meeting for the latest class of the Teen Council, the first time the group has resumed meeting since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OCTA staff welcomed the 24 incoming members of the 2023-24 Teen Council, presenting information on Orange County’s current and future transportation projects and services, followed by a roundtable discussion with the participants.
“The work of the Teen Council is so important, both for the young people who are able to get valuable insights about OCTA’s transportation programs and services and for us to get their perspectives,” said OCTA Chairman Gene Hernandez, also the mayor of Yorba Linda. “It’s great to see so many teens investing time and energy to help improve Orange County’s transportation network.”
The new members of the Teen Council come from high schools throughout Orange County and represent a wide variety of demographics and perspectives.
Teen Council, which first formed in 2015, allows young and diverse members of the community, ages 13 to 18, the opportunity to provide valuable insight on transportation programs that could most benefit the public. Students will participate in OCTA outreach events and contribute ideas to future marketing campaigns, improving their understanding of transportation issues, strengthening their skills and expanding their peer networks.
This year’s Teen Council members include:
- Jose Chavez, Santa Ana, Godinez Fundamental
- Lana Nguyen, Santa Ana, Godinez Fundamental
- Sebastian Barkman, Santa Ana, Servite High School
- Hyacinth Lim, Santa Ana, Los Amigos High School
- Bryce Leng, Costa Mesa, O.C. School of the Arts
- Lance Lipscomb, Dana Point, O.C. School of the Arts
- Kennan Liu, Irvine, University High School
- Preston Pham, Orange, Villa Park High School
- Peter Beerer, Orange, Servite High School
- Ava Dinh, Irvine, Irvine High School
- Joseph Beerer, Orange, Servite High School
- Daniel Kim, Placentia, El Dorado High School
- Helen Nguyen, Garden Grove, Rancho Alamitos High
- Adam Zibell, Fullerton, Fullerton Union High School
- Ian Cheng, Irvine, Beckman High School
- Sodongoo Sodtuya, Irvine, University High School
- Alexander Tran, Orange, Villa Park High School
- Brandon Gauf, Mission Viejo, Mission Viejo High School
- Surina Silva, Orange, Crean Lutheran High School
- Ethan Liang, Irvine, Woodbridge High School
- Shiv Patel, Brea, Brea-Olinda High School
- Amine Nebri, Huntington Beach, Ocean View High School
- Kevin Le, Garden Grove, Pacifica High School
- Jacob Polunin, Anaheim, Foothill High School