I believe that engaging young people in civic leadership roles can revolutionize a city. It helps to create interest in future service, and it allows current leaders to understand how to better meet the needs of the city’s youth. Here are some of the ways we are engaging youth in Surprise:
Youth Leadership Commission (YLC): Open to all Surprise High School Students. This program is designed to improve the level of activity and engagement among youth and all Surprise residents with the City of Surprise. The YLC is not a formal commission, therefore has no limitations on participation, but selection into the program is based on specific criteria outlined in detail on the YLC application and the completion of a panel interview with members of the Surprise City Council.
Here are some of the initiatives that our Youth Leadership Commission members can participate in:
- Scholarship to National League of Cities Conference The youth leadership scholarship provides outstanding young Surprise citizens the opportunity to attend the National League of Cities Conference in Washington, DC as youth representatives for the City of Surprise. Participants in the Youth Leadership Commission program must meet the following criteria to qualify for the scholarship:
- Participation as an intern for the Mayor and Council for a period of no less than one month. Students serve on the dais with City Council members during all regularly scheduled meetings and Council Workshops. Students can actively participate and engage in discussion items, but cannot vote or attend executive sessions.
- Demonstration of their engagement in volunteer work within the community, school and at home.
- Student in good standing at their school.
- Resume and two references (one scholastic/professional and one personal).
- Completion of the Surprise Youth Leadership Scholarship Application.
- Completion of a community service project or initiative.
- Surprise Community Service Project Initiative
Students work on a project team that will be responsible for initiating and implementing a community service project.
Students will work with an adult mentor whom will help facilitate and guide the project Community service hours will be logged for their participation and will be submitted as part of the scholarship application.
Once the project is implemented each group will give a formal presentation that describes the entire planning and implementation process including project preparation, implementation, the collaborative process they went through, road bumps along the way and how they were managed, and an assessment on the success or failure of the project.
- Leadership Development
As part of the program students will participate in quarterly leadership training sessions. Students whom complete all leadership training sessions will receive recognition in May for their efforts.