Lehi City is currently taking applications for their Lehi Youth Council, a group of young people who learn first hand how city government works and how to be leaders in their community. There will be a Youth Council Social on Wednesday, August 8 at 3 p.m. at the city building in the City Council Chamber for anyone interested in finding out more.
The Lehi Youth Council is part of the statewide program called the Utah Association of Youth Councils. According to their website, “Youth councils are organizations, usually associated with city or county governments, designed to educate youth and empower them to carry out service and become involved in civic opportunities. Different councils operate in different ways, but the main goal is the same: Work as a force for good in the local community.”
During one of their two meetings a month, members of the Lehi Youth Council attend field trips to observe the operation of different departments in the city. They meet department heads, like the police and fire chiefs, and the head of water and power. The youth council tours City offices and travels around Lehi City to learn what it’s like to work in each department. Sometimes the field trip includes a service project benefiting Lehi residents. Teisha Wilson, Executive Assistant to the Mayor and City Council and Deputy Recorder for Lehi City, is an advisor to the youth council. “We always have great kids who really want to be more involved in the community; they want to serve,” said Wilson.
The Lehi Youth Council has mock City Council meetings and observes Lehi City Council meetings for one of their monthly meetings. They work with Mayor Johnson and City Council Members Chris Condie and Paul Hancock to learn what occurs in a City Council meeting. “The youth council is a great place to learn leadership, to open their eyes to what government is and the limits of our elected officials,” explained Teisha Wilson. The youth council sees the challenges Lehi faces and how the mayor and city council work through problems and figure out how to balance the budget. “The mayor and city council sometimes have to decide between spending money on repairs or building a park and the youth council gets a feel for that decision-making process,” added Wilson.
One of the highlights of being on the Lehi Youth Council is a yearly trip to the state capital during the legislative session. The youth council sees how bills are passed on a state level and asks questions of our state representatives.
Applicants for the Lehi Youth Council must be in grades 9-12 for the coming school year, live in or attend school in Lehi City, be willing to commit two to three hours a month for one year, be willing to abide by a code of conduct that will be determined and enforced by the members of the youth council, and maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average.