Throughout Michigan, there are youth and teen groups working to make a difference in local communities and municipal governments. Often, these groups take the form of youth councils, which serve as a forum for teen leaders who aim to make their community a better place. Youth councils are organizations through which teens can play an active role in local government, community building and volunteerism. Many youth councils are run through municipal park and recreation departments. (MRPA Professional, Summer 2009)
Dearborn Youth Commission
Youth Affairs Commissioners share a passion for using their leadership skills and creativity to make Dearborn a better place to live. Students who serve on the commission are selected by school administrators and counselors at each high school in Dearborn based on their leadership abilities and demonstrated passion to give back to the Dearborn community.
Farmington/Farmington Hills Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC)
This is civic training at its best, giving kids the outlets and tools they need to increase their understanding of how to run a municipal body and make a difference. The council was established in 1999, the first youth council in Michigan to be developed by ordinance, which made it a permanent organization in the community. Any youth (not just MYC) can be appointed to boards and commissions in both cities.
Grand Rapids Mayor’s Youth Council
Community’s Children evaluates public policy and promotes caring partnerships to ensure our children, youth and families thrive within the Grand Rapids community and hold promising futures. Community’s Children is a public/private partnership of the city, the Grand Rapids public schools, and the community.
Holland Youth Advisory Board
In partnership with other community leaders, the Holland Youth Advisory Council develops leadership skills; provides advice regarding youth issues; serves its community; and promotes youth participation and civic involvement.
Novi Youth Council
In summer 2005, the Novi city council adopted a policy resolution encouraging Novi youth to become civically active within the community as members of the Novi Youth Council.
Plymouth Youth Advisory Committee
The Plymouth Community Youth Advisory Commission consists of 11 youth residents who act in an advisory capacity to the city and charter township of Plymouth on issues pertaining to youth. The commission members must be youth in grades 7 to 11.
Rochester Hills Youth Council
City council established the Rochester Hills Government Youth Council (RHGYC) to promote youth involvement in local government through active participation and the mutual exchange of ideas and experience. In addition to service on the Youth Council, the city council established youth representative positions on each of the following committees:
Cemetery Citizen Advisory Committee
Deer Management Advisory Committee
Green Space Advisory Board
Human Resources Technical Review Committee
MR-42E Noise Barrier/Sound Wall Committee
Museum Advisory Board
Police and Road Funding Technical Review Committee
Water & Sewer
Saline Youth Council
The Saline Youth Council (SYC) is a regular city commission comprised of 13 high school students and two 8th grade liaisons whose mission is to make Saline a better place for teens and serve as a conduit between city government and youth. SYC discusses community issues, plans events, fulfills volunteer commitments in the community, and does fundraising projects. Established in 2002, SYC is proving to be a major force in the community. Many organizations request SYC volunteer assistance; others request to have an SYC member on their board or to act as a contributing voice in their group.
Troy Youth Council
Formed by city council resolution in 2002, the Troy Youth Council (TYC) is the newest addition to the 26 advisory boards and commissions currently active in Troy. TYC members are appointed by city council for one-year terms and advise council on matters specifically related to the youth in Troy. The goal of TYC is to:
Address community issues through discussion and recommendations
Encourage and promote the education of youth regarding city government and citizen participation