Tuscarora High School government teacher Wendy Yacoub, the Leesburg District appointee to the comprehensive plan review’s stakeholder steering committee, is working to bring county planning to the people who will be most affected by it—her students.
Yacoub wants to include all of the county’s high schoolers in Envision Loudoun, the county’s outreach sessions that will help shape its review of the comprehensive plan. That plan, a collection of long-term planning documents, will guide growth and development in the county on everything from housing to transportation for decades to come.
“This is the perfect opportunity to get them interacting with our community, the community they’re hopefully going to be coming back to and being productive adults in,” she said.
She says she has the basic idea in mind, but there’s a lot of groundwork to be laid and hoops to jump through. She has to clear the idea of using an advisory period during the school day, which is often used for individualized or mini-lessons for students, through her principal and school administration. She’d like to have a trial run at her school, then expand it to all schools.
“If they feel like they have an input in their community, then they’re more likely to come back as a professional,” Yacoub said. “So looking at the big scheme of things, when you feel like you have a stake or a voice, you tend to do more for our community, to tend to come back, you tend to get more involved. So I’m hoping this will give the kids an opportunity to say their piece in a format that will be taken seriously.”
The county is still gathering public input at Envision-Loudoun.org.