What is it? A Youth Advisory Council connects the government and the area’s younger population. Local high school, and middle school youth in some instances, are offered the opportunity to serve on the council. The council advises local elected officials and staff on youth-related issues. Second, council members also help communicate with the general public concerning youth related programs and initiatives. In some cases, council members may help develop and operate community-based youth programs. A youth advisory council helps strengthen the engagement of youth in local government while helping policy makers and adults better understand youth concerns and capabilities.
How has it been used? Loudoun County, Virginia has a very active Youth Advisory Council. Each year, the Council sponsors a YouthFest event and a battle of the bands, that brings youth together in a fun atmosphere. Council members also work with existing community programs to promote youth service and engagement. Another part of the Council’s responsibilities involves informing community youth about governmental actions that impact them. Additionally, the Council is involved with the Advisory Commission on Youth, tasked with advising the Board of Supervisors about youth related issues. The Youth Advisory Council has played a very important role in facilitating youth involvement in Loudoun County. (Source: Loudoun County Youth Advisory Council)