DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – A Denton city councilman is hoping teenagers can help solve some of the city’s problems.

Kevin Roden, of District one, is forming a youth advisory council to get input from the next generation of leaders.

“Youth are a large part of our citizenry,” he explained.  “Rarely do we go to the youth and say ‘what does this mean to you? how are you impacted?’”

“Most people don’t listen to us because we’re young,” said 13-year-old Ben Lyke, who has applied to be on the council, “but we actually have some really good ideas.”

Lyke, an 8th grader at Calhoun Middle, wants to address the issue of bike lanes with Roden, if he is accepted to the youth board.

“We need more people riding their bikes,” he said, “and if we had bike lanes people will think they want to ride on the bike lanes.”

Roden believes the youth advisory council will not only help him gather input from Denton’s young people, but will teach them about local politics and encourage teenagers to become engaged in their community.

“I have two young kids myself,” he said, “and as a father, I understand looking at the city from the perspective of youth is valuable.”

The Denton youth advisory council is open to kids in the 6th through 12th grade. Those interested can apply online at

Lyke has already submitted an application and hopes by doing so he’ll be able to make a difference in his city.

“I just really want to help Denton be a better place,” he said.