One year after the launch of Ptownlife.org, a group of teens gathered this week for an orientation on how to maintain and improve the website during its second year.
"They come in one afternoon a week, write news articles, keep the calender updated, and are constantly looking at ways to improve it," said Nicole Thomas, Community Services.
The site resulted from the Youth Master Plan updated in 2010 by the city, the school district and community leaders, Thomas said.
"We heard from the community that they wanted one place to go to for information and resources, so we are targeting youths and families," Thomas explained.
The site was designed by a consultant, Eye580 Interactive.
"We worked with them, the Youth Commission worked with them, and they designed based on what we heard as the needs in the community," Thomas said.
The all-day orientation was held Tuesday for the 18 middle school and high school students who are on the 2013-14 youth web team. In addition to the teens' work, Thomas and Team Coordinator Rachel Mariscal work on the site's upkeep.
The website also depends on community groups to post their activities and news, including their programs and services, and has 350 registered users. Organizations' special events can be added to the Calendar, plus jobs for youths can be posted.
Ptownlife.org also has 80 organization/business partners, which are featured with a profile page with contacts, a website link, program details, services and products offered.
To celebrate its first anniversary, Ptownlife.org is sponsoring a Youth Literature Contest for grades 3 through 12. The topic is bravery, and prizes will be awarded to the top stories in each age group (grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12), with the top five overall stores featured on the site. Visit ptownlife.org/play/contests for more information. The deadline is 5 p.m., Friday, Sept. 6.
Members of the youth web team are Sakshi Agarwal, Bianca Bacaltos, Caroline Cho, Lauren Domagas, Aaron Guerra, Kriti Jain, Snigdha Jayavapu, Emily Lin, Ryan Panwar, Laura Pianin, Niveditha Raghavan, Shrey Shah, Jennifer Tao, Richa Tenany, Varsha Vaidyanath, Nerissa Vow, Cassie Wang and Kaitlyn Wang.