The Somali Dhaanto Group performs a traditional Somali dance on Saturday at the conclusion of the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council’s “Celebrating Lewiston” event at Mike McGraw Park. From left, in blue, are Shukri Said, Muna Ali and Halima Ahmed. In brown are Hawa Said, Najmo Ahmed and Nasro Yusuf. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LEWISTON — At the inaugural “Celebrating Lewiston” on Saturday, the Lewiston City Council, Lewiston Public Library, and others welcomed visitors with souvenirs and information about upcoming events at Mike McGraw Park.

Hosted by the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council (LYAC), the event highlights the efforts of Lewiston youth to show what the city has to offer, and to recognize the 10 council members who graduated high school this year.

“We really just wanted to celebrate all the things that Lewiston has to offer that other cities (don’t). We wanted to encapsulate what Lewiston is. (The council) said ‘Let’s get some businesses together and show what Lewiston has to offer,” said Kiera Potvin, a member of the council since her sophomore year of high school.

“Lewiston is a diverse community to me. I will miss the diversity offered in this community and the sense of family,” said Potvin, who will be attending Hobart and William Smith Colleges in the fall.

At a table adorned with pamphlets and frisbees sporting the “Lewiston, ME” city logo, three Lewiston City Council members spoke highly of the work the LYAC has done in organizing the event and fielding questions from attendees.

“I’m impressed at every meeting, every day,” said Linda M. Scott, a City Council member and LYAC advisor. She listed some of the events organized by the LYAC throughout the years: a food insecurity event with St. Mary’s Food Pantry, a campaign against bullying with elementary school students, and a short film addressing drunk driving.


“I just sit there and listen to them. They come up with all the ideas. I’ve given them a few history points. They think I’m a history encyclopedia for Lewiston, but I’m like, ‘I’m just old.’ They’re pretty amazing,” said Scott.

GG Guhat sings “You’re Beautiful” at the the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council’s “Celebrating Lewiston” event Saturday at Mike McGraw Park. GG Guhat is a Lewiston High School student. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

According to Scott, about half the seniors in the LYAC graduated at the top of their class. In addition to their academics, their pride in their hometown is unmatched.

“What I love about them is that they’re really positive. When I think about Lewiston and the city’s image, part of the issue we’ve had is ourselves, people in our generation bad-talking the city. (The LYAC members) really love Lewiston. They need to help us paradigm shift,” said one volunteer with the council.

Auburn Savings Bank was announced as the sponsor for Mike McGraw Park when the sign was unveiled, while firefighters from Lewiston Fire Department arrived on Engine #7, interacting with attendees and their children to the sounds of a musical performance by GG Guhat.

“The Lewiston Youth Advisory Council stands as a model for student civic engagement and I’m honored to be a part of today’s event,” said Mayor Carl L. Sheline. “Lewiston most likely has the youngest average age in the state, and I’m proud of our students serving on the youth council. ”

Hannah Arsenault, left, takes a yoga class from Jossyln Jalbert during the Lewiston Youth Advisory Council’s “Celebrating Lewiston” event Saturday at Mike McGraw Park. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.