Participating within our public school system and community, we noticed a distinct lack of a platform for youth ideas to be implemented. Often, issues directly concerning youth or in which a younger perspective would have been beneficial were given to adults to solve. This served to isolate youth from the direct changes within the Columbia community and a send a message that their knowledge and input was not valuable because of their age, despite the fact youth comprise 18.8% (United States Census Bureau) of the total population. The disconnect between youth and adults may detrimentally delay the progression of the City of Columbia, as youth ideas are often not considered and future leaders could feel disenfranchised, and as a result may be dissuaded from political participation altogether. A Columbia Youth Advisory Council will allow students to voice concerns and discuss potential solutions directly with the City of Columbia. In partnership with the Youth Community Coalition, City Council, and Columbia Public Schools, this diverse group of student leaders will establish an official council made up of area youth to produce sustainable change that will create the standard for which youth ideas and ingenuity are recognized and employed.
This is an explanation of our project.
This is an addendum of the process we implemented to create the Youth Advisory Council.