Apply for Mayor Parker’s Youth Council

If I was a youth (which was a few years ago), I’d definitely do this:

Mayor Annise Parker has announced that the 2010-11 Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) is now taking applications.  The MYC emulates the Houston City Council with a chairperson (mayor), city secretary, nine district and five at-large council positions and their accompanying aides.

Youth Council members will gain an understanding of city departments and build rapport with community leaders, citizens and elected officials.  Members are called upon to help make decisions affecting Houston’s youth, as well as, participate in numerous activities throughout the year.  In addition, they will plan town hall meetings covering topics of interest and concern to their peers; participate in community service projects, both sponsored by the City of Houston and by other community organizations; and gather important input from other students through the annual Houston Youth Survey, the results of which are presented to City Council.

“We are looking to lay the foundation for our city’s future leaders,” said Mayor Parker. “High school students who are interested in helping their community should apply, and we hope they will learn valuable information about how the city works that can be relayed to their neighbors and friends.”

The MYC is directly overseen by its parent organization, the Volunteer Initiatives Program, an organization that promotes volunteerism across Houston. VIP director, Cameron M. Waldner, and associate director, Katherine Price, support the Mayor’s Youth Council in various projects throughout the year.

”Our goal is that every young man and woman leaves the Mayor’s Youth Council with a better understanding of civic duty and a moral responsibility to the community,” said Waldner.  “Even though they are a small group of 33 members, their actions have a far-reaching effect on the City of Houston.”

Guidelines and job descriptions for the 2010-11 terms are now available online.  Applicants must be high school students, who reside in the City of Houston, between the ages of fourteen (14) and eighteen (18).  They should demonstrate strong interests in gaining knowledge about city government and promoting discussion on youth-related issues, have excellent organizational skills and work well with young people from a variety of diverse cultures and backgrounds.  In addition, applicants must be sponsored by a teacher from their school’s social studies department.

Interested applicants are invited to apply online at Applications are now being accepted and are due by midnight on Friday, September 10, 2010.  Incomplete applications will not be considered after this date.  A panel of youth and adult advisors will review the applications and invite qualified candidates for a personal interview.  Decisions will be announced in mid-September.

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