TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — The Wabash Valley Railroad Museum has recently announced a new youth-led, youth-centered program that focuses on providing a space for younger people in the community to participate and engage with the museum. 

The Wabash Valley Railroad Museum Youth Advisory Council will consist of students from grades 9 through 12 that meet once a month and work towards completing projects through the museum that will benefit the youth in the community. 

“It’s a new program, and we’re designing it as we go. The point of it is to be a youth-led, youth-serving group. So the group will be doing a lot of hands-on activities themselves. We have a lot of fantastic young leaders in our community, that I think they want to have more interaction with one another,” said Mari Jackson, a Wabash Valley Railroad Museum Board Member, and the Director of the Youth Advisory Council. 

To be a part of the council, participants should be members of the Haley Tower Historical and Technical Society and will need to attend the monthly in-person meetings. 

Jackson said that the hope for the group is that they will learn philanthropic leadership skills by creating programs with the WVRM that are for youth. 

“They’ll learn how to come up with a budget, learn how to fundraise that on their own, learn how to complete a project from start to finish” Jackson explained. “It gives them some independence in the summer months but it also allows them to get together with people of their same age that want to have a common goal of impacting their community and really allowing it to be a group for themselves. Something they choose to design,” Jackson continued. 

The Wabash Valley Railroad Museum decided to lean into the interest that some young people in the community seem to have in the museum and work to give them a space of their own. Jackson also said current society members are very eager to start the program.

“We’re really excited about it, we’re really excited to see where it goes. Our hope is to grow student awareness of the museum and student participation,” Jackson added. 

For those interested in applying for the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum’s Youth Advisory Council, the application can be found here

People can also find more details about the museum, how to donate, or how to become a Wabash Valley Railroad Museum and Haley Tower Historical and Technical Society member by visiting the Wabash Valley Railroad Museum website.