LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) —The City of Lawton has announced the return of their Lawton Youth Council program where high school students get the opportunity to learn about the roles and inner-workings of local government.

Back in 2019, Ward 7 Councilwoman Onreka Johnson had an idea to help young people learn about what it’s like to be a city council person and launched the Lawton Youth Council program, but unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic happened, and the program was put on a hiatus.

Now, Johnson is bringing it back so that students can engage in learning some of the roles that actual city council people have, such as how to agenda items and how to debate on items.

Councilwoman Johnson said she believes allowing students to learn from on-the-job experience can help them further understand their interests and prepare them for the future.

“A lot of times we have young people that are interested in being in different types of positions, but if we don’t give them the opportunity to learn about them and really educate them about it, then sometimes they kind of shy away from it,” Johnson said. “So this definitely is a benefit for them. They’ll be able to say, ‘Well, I was in the seat, and I learned this is actually what they do, how they do it and why they do it.'”

In order for students to qualify, they must be a high school student within the Lawton city limits.

Johnson encourages any student who might be interested to fill out an application. Applications will open on Tuesday, August 22.

If you or a student you know is interested, find more information and the application here.