Broken Arrow, OK Youth City Council

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Broken Arrow, OK, US

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in 2001

Source File: http://www.brokenarrowok.gov/Index.aspx?page=53

Description:

Before the start of the 2001-2002 school year, the Broken Arrow City Council approved the creation of a Youth City Council. Five seniors serve as the Youth City Council, and five juniors are in line to move up to the YCC the following year if they wish. Youth City Council members shall be appointed by the Broken Arrow City Council from their respective wards through an application process. To be eligible for selection, you must be:

  • A resident of the City of Broken Arrow
  • A junior or senior in high school
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA
  • Fulfill the responsibilities of the office held
  • Set a proper example for the youth of Broken Arrow

Objectives:

  • To provide service and leadership opportunities for the youth of the City of Broken Arrow.
  • To instill a feeling of positive self-worth and esteem, to teach teamwork and respect for the rights and property of others, to promote community pride and to eliminate potential negative influences among our future community leaders.
  • To assist youth in learning to identify needs, to organize activities and to participate with their adult counterparts in city programs.
  • To become aware of community leaders and their concerns, and to gain an understanding of the issues, research process, politics and media influence that goes into city government involvement.
  • To identify community opportunities and problems.
  • To learn to set priorities for action and examine alternatives for best solutions.
  • To become more involved in the democratic process.
  • To allow youth to make a difference through their participation and contributions to city government and in service to the people of the City of Broken Arrow.
  • To promote youth involvement and leadership in all areas of the City of Broken Arrow.

The curriculum for the Youth City Council begins each year with an orientation early in the school year, designed to introduce the members to the City Council and City Manager. They also meet with elected state officials and learn about staff responsibilities, past, current and future issues, media effect and involvement. The orientation includes a tour of city facilities. At regular meetings throughout the school year, the YCC members "brainstorm" to develop programs and/or proposals to bring before the City Council. Activities are scheduled so that YCC members miss very little school, if any.

Starting in 2006-07, a "Living Legends" program was added, bringing in former Broken Arrow mayors for one program and Broken Arrow Public School officials, past and present, for another. This year's "Living Legends" features past business leaders in the community.

Toward the end of each year, the YCC will hold a Mock City Council meeting, where they serve as a Council Member, address key issues and learn what it's like to preside over a public meeting. And finally, prepare a report for a real City Council meeting, making recommendations for programs or ordinance changes.

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