By Riley Elder, Salt Lake County Commission On Youth-Youth Government
Those were the first words I said when I learned that some cities, maybe even mine, had City Council established Youth Councils. Here was a real and obvious way I could become more involved in government (which happens to be my passion), while at the same time, adding to my resume for future political positions, job opportunities and applications to Universities. I immediately contacted my City Councilwoman and scheduled a time for me to turn in a resume and be interviewed by the City Manager and City Council members. After using my recently-acquired interview skills taught in my financial literacy class, I was selected as one of the members of the Council where I, after a year, was elected as the new Youth Mayor of Herriman City. But I didn’t stop there!
After attending a leadership summit hosted by the Salt Lake County Commission On Youth (which I had no knowledge of at the time) my interest was raised at the idea that there was a Youth Council even higher up than my City Youth Council. So of course, in line with my ambitions and interest in government applied to be a member, where in the first meeting, I was elected Youth Mayor of the County, which is a position I’ve held for two years. For a year, it turned out that I was Mayor of two separate Youth Councils.
This last year term as Youth Mayor, and the term previous, have accounted for some of my greatest leadership opportunities and chances to expand my public service-leadership capabilities. Serving on two separate Youth Councils has provided me with tremendous personal experiences. I will always implore youth to participate in their local Youth Leadership because of the outstanding benefits that come from such participation, including but not limited to; public speaking, networking with high powered city and county officials, and acquiring logistical skills needed for putting on activities. It was also a great honor to be nominated and win a 2015 COY award presented by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams in recognition for service work in the youth category. This is an annual contest nominating and voting for outstanding service in the community. Individuals(youth and adults) and groups can apply to be nominated. Look for more information in March on the SLCo Youth Services website as awards are presented in May each year.
On October 24th, at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, the Salt Lake County Commission On Youth will host another summit, just like the one I went to that sparked my interest. Many Youth Council members and other civically engaged leaders will be in attendance and I encourage anyone who would like to get involved in the County Youth Government and Leadership to attend. Mayor Ben McAdams and a local motivational speaker will address the group. Then we’ll choose representatives from each City Council to assemble as a new County Youth Council. If you are part of a city council within Salt Lake County please come and join us. RSVP by October 10, 2015 at please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come learn great things about leadership and begin your membership in the County Youth Council hosted by the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Administration and Salt Lake County Youth Services.