KAYSVILLE -- Kaysville city has a group of indispensable youths who are making a difference in the community. Kids in seventh through 12th grades are invited to join Kaysville Indispensable Youth.
"Our goal is to sponsor a program that will provide the youth of Kaysville, regardless of physical, scholastic or other restrictions, an opportunity to volunteer their time and talents to the community," said Larry Jensen, who heads up the program as chairman of the KIY Committee.
The group meets on the third Thursday of each month at the Kaysville Recreation Center, where the group recently met to discuss what they would like to do as a group.
Lizzie Jensen, 12, and no relation to Larry Jensen, has met with the group on another occasion and expects to get something out of the experience while serving others.
"It will be great on a college resume and on job applications. It will be a lot of fun," Lizzie said.
Others also are looking to the future and want to have something positive to show prospective colleges.
"It will look good on a college application and it's good to do community service," said 13-year-old Jennifer Sappenfield.
Twelve-year-old Mikayla Eskelson said she was there because a friend brought her. And that is just what the KIY Committee wants them to do. Lizzie's mother, Julie Jensen, is on that committee, and she hopes to spread the word so more kids can be involved. She thinks friends telling friends is a good thing.
"The program will offer training in several fields and areas as well as teaching and exposing the youth to city planning, emergency response, communications, basic first aid, journalism, reporting and other potential career fields. It will also provide a validated proof of volunteering community service for college entrance forms and employment," Julie Jensen said.
City Councilman Jared Taylor said the program started in two ways.
"When I was campaigning, I had a thought for a youth program to get kids more involved. About a month after I took office, we had a presentation made to the council from Larry Jensen, who had created a program. We began working together and hit a few road blocks and time delays until earlier this year we were able to get enough support to get the program going. We have started this to be a program that youth, ages 12 to 18, will feel indispensable," explained Taylor, who also serves on the committee.
The program started about four years ago when Larry Jensen went to Southern Utah and learned about a teen CERT program run by Homeland Security. The CERT classes are tailored to a teenager's perspective, he said. He spoke of a girl who saved a substitute teacher's life when the teacher had a seizure.
"If there is a disaster at school, they can respond," Larry Jensen said. "The kids absolutely love it."
He said he went to the local schools and to the CERT program and they weren't interested in starting something for the young people. So he took it upon himself to begin the KIY program.
It has taken awhile for the program to get off the ground, but now more kids are learning about it. The city council has thrown its support behind the group, so KIY is now a city-sponsored program. And Larry Jensen said it will not cost the city anything.
Lizzie suggested that they plan some fundraisers. She would like to do a talent show. And Larry Jensen suggested they also make first-aid kits to sell to the community.
A member of the community, Alexa Nelson, 14, is hoping to begin a reading program to help disadvantaged elementary age students learn to read better and has asked for some help from KIY.
"My mom told me about it (KIY), and I thought it would be a good service to do," Alexa said. "I thought it would be nice to help and volunteer."
A contest is being held to find a logo for Kaysville Indispensable Youth. For more information or to become involved with the group, contact Larry Jensen at Jensen.W@hotmail.com or call 801-544-5915.