Fourth Annual Youth Government Summit

By Carol Hendrycks, Youth Services Communications Manager

IMG_7705The Salt Lake County Commission On Youth hosted it’s fourth annual Youth Government Summit at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, on October 24th. The event hosted about 45 youth from youth city councils and their leaders from South Jordan, West Valley, Magna, Midvale, Murray, Riverton, Salt Lake and South Salt Lake to collaborate on current community needs, learn leadership skills, sign up for a countywide service project and be chosen as a representative for Mayor Ben McAdams’ youth county government council.

The youth were excited to hear from SLCo Mayor McAdams and learn about the currentIMG_7727 political hot topics. The COY Youth Government Mayor Riley Elder said, “I get to talk to (Salt Lake County) Mayor Ben McAdams, personally, at his desk. We talk about stuff,” Elder said, highlighting one of the perks of his appointed duties. “He really cares about youth. He wants to get things done that will help the youth. I admire him as a man. We have different political views, but I want to emulate him.” This quote and more about the Youth Summit can be found here.

Valerie Cameron-Walker was the motivational speaker and talked about the importance of community service and that youth of today will be the leaders and the bosses of tomorrow. #ourfuturebosses She shared her experience as young adult regarding her career path in that you are either a leader, follower and or somewhyouth summitere in the middle when in search of where and how you want to make a difference. And that everyone experiences all of these roles until they find the most comfortable fit and where one can make the most impact in serving others.

IMG_7684Carrie Rogers-Whitehead, the COY vice chair shared an interactive game with the youth about specific government topics, laws, how government bodies work that helped youth engage and interact with each other. This was a great exercise for group involvement, the importance of voting and an education about civic initiatives.

And a special thank you to SLCo Youth Services Director Pat Berckman for supporting and working the event. Pat always rolls up her sleeves to support youth in our community and advocates for youth everywhere she goes.

Commission On Youth (COY) is a volunteer advisory board staffed by Salt Lake County Youth Services, chaired by Salt Lake County Human Services Director Karen Crompton and is comprised of individuals from business, government, school districts, youth government leaders, and influential community partners who have been appointed by Mayor Ben McAdams to advocate for youth policies. COY is non-partisan committee and brings together many youth city government councils and their leaders to hear from Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, network and recruit other youth governments, debate hot topics and organize a countywide service project.

The countywide service project will be held on November 5th, at 5pm at Rico Warehouse/Frida’s Bistro located at 545 West 500 South, SLC. Space is limited to 40 participants so please RSVP by November 2nd to: The project was held there last year and was a huge success. Youth will assemble and roll burritos and distribute to homeless in the area. Leaders are encourage to come with their youth.COY – Youth Govt Service Project 2015

The first COY Youth Government for the new representatives will meet on December 3rd from 4-5:30PM here at Youth Services 177 W Price Avenue. Please be prompt.

For more information about COY and youth county government involvement call 385-468-4500 or go to the

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