State Youth Councils What if the youth in your community made a difference? What if they brought about change to make your area a better place to live? What if they addressed problems that youth just like them are confronted with every day, and realized solutions? What if they had a voice? With a local Youth Council, all of this is possible! In Youth Councils, dedicated youth work with local government agencies and concerned adults to address the needs of their local peers. These young leaders organize programs and projects to enhance their communities and the well-being of other youth in their communities. Members of Youth Councils learn the value of teamwork, respect for self and others, a strong work ethic and what it means to be a responsible citizen. Youth Councils provide a creative outlet for the youth of the community. The focus is not to replace any existing youth group, but to allow collaboration and serve as one united voice for all local youth. To be the voice of youth in the community and serve as a line of communication between youth and adults of the area. To provide an organization in which youth can organize and supervise programs for the benefit of area youth and the community. These programs are open to all and should not duplicate or overlap existing programs in the area. The object is not to compete with constituent groups, but to provide a central planning body. To serve as an advisory committee on youth affairs to the local government. This goal is generally met by staying in touch with elected and governmental officials, bringing them ideas and concerns of youth that are within their realms of operation. To provide an opportunity for youth to share in local government matters and to learn to become responsible citizens. To encourage city and county planning agencies to invite youth to serve on city and county committees and contribute to community planning Thinking about starting a youth council in your area? Here are a few resources: Steps to Organizing a Youth Council Manual State Youth Council Informational Sheet Ready to start a Youth Council? Click here to download the charter application. For more information about State Youth Council, contact State Coordinator, Candace Dudley at Candace.Dudley@doa.nc.gov or 984-236-0345.