Commitment to Youth

In the early phases, it is recommended to focus on securing the institutionalization and longevity of your youth council. This long-term perspective may have implications for how to distribute roles and responsibilities within the local government and what would be the best way to secure resources. The main goal is to create a sustainable youth council whose continued existence does not depend on one specific city official.

Provide Recognition and Keep Your Youth Council Visible

  • Take Your Youth Council’s Achievements and Activities Seriously

    • Gather feedback from youth council members

    • Update website and/or social media sites regularly by using short reports, videos and photos to document activities, progress and impact

    • Hold celebratory events once or twice a year

  • Communicate with Your Youth Council

    • Pay attention to the impact and achievements

    • Explain why their activities matter

    • Explain how they are making a difference

  • Share Achievements and Successes with the Broader Community

    • Keep schools and community leaders updated about your youth council

    • Design ways for the youth council to present its work to the local government, board of education, and other organizations and institutions

    • Stay connected with the media:

      • Press conferences and releases

      • Letters to newspaper editors

    • Consider other information sharing methods:

      • District newsletters or websites

      • Morning announcements

      • School letters to families


  • Integration with the Local Government

    • Consider options such as formalizing the youth council in legislation, requiring that the youth council will continue to operate regardless of changes in administration

  • Be Aware of Transitions

    • Prepare for changes in officials and staff:

      • Have a transition/succession plan that transfers responsibilities and information to a new official or staff member to guarantee continuity during the school year and year-to-year

        • For example, include tasks and responsibilities related to your youth council in local government job/position descriptions

      • Provide a comprehensive online platform as a repository for communications, information for projects, and history of the council

        • This will help to build a sustainable framework for your youth council as an institutionalized part of the community

    • Prepare for changes in youth council membership:

      • For example, if you have high school-based youth council, be sure to include both juniors and seniors

  • Integration with Academics

    • Consider possibilities to treat a youth council as a credit-earning course

    • Consider ways to allow students time for youth council activities by modifying the master schedule

Back to Listing