Location: Lewiston – Downtown
Team: Lewiston Youth Advisory Council
Cool Happenings on Lisbon Street with the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council – At the debut of the video, it was inspiring to hear youth council members share from their hearts what they personally experienced by visiting places that they didn’t realize were located on Lisbon Street and/or what the businesses had to offer. They exuded pride in their community and asked that others join them in learning more about their own city and then speaking positively about it. Places they highlighted included: LA Magazine, LA Arts, Fuel, Niky’s Greek Restaurant, Gallery 5 (now Lyceum Hall), Mother India, Captive Elements Art, Lewiston Public Library, Chill Yoga, Baraka Store, etc.
How are you making Maine a better place for young people? (1 -3 paragraph limit please)
The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) is an offshoot of the Lewiston City Council, and its members consistently strive to enhance the community by sharing their “voice.” Whether its encouraging middle school students to heighten their aspirations through LYAC’s MOTIVATE ME outreach to hosting a Mayoral debate to filming its recent “Cool Happenings on Lisbon Street” video, LYAC has a long-standing reputation of making a difference within the community. Locally to nationally, individuals and entities have taken notice of the work the group does, and it’s been said that if you want something done, let LYAC have shot at it. Year after year, its members collaboratively decide what topics they want to focus on, and the creative ideas just keep coming with positive results.
What challenges in your community are you addressing? (1 paragraph)
Although the All-America City of Lewiston, Maine, has effectively transformed itself from a former mill town to a diverse multi-facted employment base, Lewiston continues to counter a regional image based upon both realities and myths from the 20th Century. The sometimes negative regional image affects the self-image that some of Lewiston’s own residents have about their city. Lewiston Youth Advisory Council members feel strongly about the need for residents to be supporters of their own city and wanted to provide a “visual” to encourage them to do just that.
Who will benefit from your idea? How will people access and learn about the work you are doing? (1 paragraph)
The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council hopes that everyone who views their “Cool Happenings on Lisbon Street” video will see and realize that Lisbon Street–once a thriving, bustling place of years ago–is once again coming alive one business at a time. With camcorder in hand, the youth council visited numerous sites on Lisbon Street and talked with people about what’s happening in that area of downtown Lewiston. They debuted their video to an overflow crowd on February 11, 2012, and received rave reviews. One resident even sent them a card afterwards & wrote, “I know a lot more about Lisbon Street now. You are all such good role models. I enjoyed the opportunity to chat with you and hear about your goals.” The video is currently on the City’s web site at www.lewistonmaine.gov/lyac; will be shown on Great Falls TV on Thursday evenings through March 2012; and LYAC welcomes any other venue to share their project.
What major success would you like to see at the end or apex of your project? ( 1 paragraph)
LYAC wants to see and hear–which they experienced during filming–that people who live and work in Lewiston are proud to positively talk about their city.
Any thing else you’d like us to know?
The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council does not hesitate to use its “voice” for the betterment of Lewiston and its quality of life. Again, from their film SMASHED highlighting the consequences of underage drinking which was approved for Maine driver’s ed curriculum to holding a youth summit highlighting topics of interest such as college opportunities to currently serving as representatives for College for ME Androscoggin, LYAC members are active youth who know how to get things done & do it time & time again.