Youth Council Looks to Increase Civic Engagement
Yelm, WA — The City of Yelm is a strong supporter of Yelm Community Schools and its thousands of students. Mayor JW Foster, City Administrator Michael Grayum and Superintendent Brian Wharton meet regularly to identify ways to empower the voice of young people and have them play a more active role in local government decision making.
One of those ideas was the creation of a Youth Council, which was officially established through a proclamation of the Mayor and City Council this January. They introduced themselves to Yelm City Council for the first time last Tuesday to share the bi-laws and some of their initial priorities, one of which is to partner with the City to increase community support for Yelm High School this fall.
The dedicated Youth Council members check in with each other every Wednesday and hold policy meetings once a month after school. Their next official meeting is Sept. 4, just before the start of the new school year.
Youth Council members are nominated by teachers and advisors, before being appointed by Mayor Foster. They meet regularly with City Administrator Grayum and Amy Stapleton, a teacher and the Youth Council advisor at Yelm High School. Each Youth Council member must have good grades with no disciplinary records in the community. They are a very in-tune, educated and eager group that is willing to roll up their sleeves and start working with local leaders to empower the voice of youth. We are lucky to have so many diverse students helping make a positive, and lasting impact in our community.