Making a Difference in Happy Valley
It seems like there is nothing that Ivana Prokopenko isn’t involved in, both in and out of school. She partakes in various extracurricular activities, including student council, National Honor Society, sports, and of course, Youth Council. She first joined the council at the end of her sophomore year after seeing an ad in the Happy Valley News Paper.
“I was already on the student council at school, and I saw this and was really interested because I wanted to do more for the city, I grew up in.” Ivana Prokopenko Portland Christian High School She spent her first year getting to know everything and learning the legal process of what it means to be on a city council. The following year, Ivana got more immersed and now holds the position as co-chair where she gets to lead meetings and speak at events. “I never had a position where I could lead,” she said. “It gave me a chance to provide my peers an opportunity to have their voice heard.”
Being a part of the Youth Council showed her that she could contribute to other communities as well as her own. “The council really inspired me and grew my desire to help communities beyond my own,” she said. “I’m Ukrainian, so I reached out to a foundation here and helped get aid for refugees and raised money too.”
With her time on the council, Ivana leaves it feeling inspired. “My time here on the Youth Council has definitely shown me what it means to be both a leader and a supporter,” she said. “When to stay silent, when to speak up, when to absorb and when to listen.” She looks forward to seeing what life has in store for her next but knows no matter where it is, she wants to make a difference.