The Northwest Civic Association has brought back its student trustee program after taking a yearlong break.

Nick Cipiti, president of the NWCA board of trustees, said the program was put on hold for a year because of differences among the board members.

"There was a little bit of conflict among board members, and it was getting to a point that it was something that we really didn't want our (student) trustees to be a part of," he said.

He said the board worked with Centennial High School principal Stephanie Porta, and they mutually decided to put the program on hold until the 2019-2020 school year.

Student trustees Evan Teeter and Tyler Morefield, both 18-year-old seniors, said they were recommended for the opportunity by the Centennial faculty.

Morefield said he was interested in the opportunity as a way to be involved in his community and bolster his resume for college. Teeter said he was interested in observing how local government operates.

"In our experience, we weren't shown how local government works," he said. "We see things on TV, but we don't actually get to see how things happen on the local level."

Cipiti said the goal is to introduce young people to the local government to see how government affects their lives.

The NWCA is an independent, nonprofit association that serves the northwest Columbus community.

It functions as an advisory board to Columbus City Council and fulfills many of the same functions as Columbus-area commissions, which are funded by City Council.

According to its website, the NWCA receives its funding from member dues. The organization makes independent recommendations to council and other city officials about such matters as development standards and commercial graphics.

Cipiti said the students attend meetings like regular trustees, are given information about issues sent to the board and are asked to provide feedback and input.

In the program, students are given the opportunity to shadow a member of Columbus City Council for a day.

"I've never shadowed someone on City Council before," Teeter said. "So it'll be cool to see their process."

Morefield said the most important part of the program is being exposed to how the government functions.

"Obviously, this isn't the biggest function of government, but it is important to see how the community works together in a somewhat of a government kind of a take," he said.

For more information about the NWCA or to find the meeting schedule, go to northwestcivic.org.

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