In hopes of giving county teenagers their own online resource, the Loudoun Youth Initiative has launched a Web site, Step Up Loudoun!, at www.loudounteens.org.
The site, which has been active for a little more than a week, features many links and listings but not much interactivity yet. It does, however, promise an advice column and offers a message board where teenagers can chat about the topics of the day.
"Conceptually, this is a Web site designed by kids, with kids and for kids, and we intend for it to stay that way," said Tim Chesnutt, director of the youth initiative. "Whatever direction the kids want to take it in, given the guidelines."
Guidelines? Well, the Loudoun Youth Initiative is a county agency, and the Web site will be hosted on the county's Internet servers. "So there will have to be some guidelines and restraints," Chesnutt said. "We have to walk a bit of a fine line."
Supervisor Stephen J. Snow (R-Dulles) pushed the button to make the Web site "live" at the Oct. 19 meeting of the Board of Supervisors' Human Services Committee.
A demonstration of the Web site is scheduled for the board at its meeting Tuesday; the supervisors helped to establish the youth initiative in July 2004.
Officials say the site will eventually highlight news, activities, polls, places to go and things to do, all specific to teenagers in Loudoun County.
"We're hoping ultimately to have kids reviewing movies, kids reviewing music, maybe posting some of their own writing," Chesnutt said. "In the short term, though, we think the message board will be getting a lot of activity."