Plano, TX Youth Advisory Commission
What exactly is the Youth Advisory Commission?
The Youth Advisory Commission consists of students from the Plano Independent School District and the private High Schools located within the City limits. We have one 9th and one 10th grader from each High School and two 11th and two 12th graders from each of the three Senior High Schools. Members are eligible to serve two one-year terms if attendance requirements are met.
What exactly does the Youth Advisory Commission do?
Our mission is to be the voice of the Plano teen community by exploring issues and developing activities which will promote positive youth relations with and for the City of Plano. We are led by Council Liaison Jean Callison, Staff Liaison Pam Hanks and Police Liaison Officer Richard Glenn.
Each member is required to attend at least one City Council meeting per term.
We attempt to host concert events each year at Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. Admission is usually free and teens from all over Plano are encouraged to attend. Music is live and refreshments are available at nominal charges. We encourage local bands to perform so if you have a band and would like the opportunity to play for us please contact Mrs. Hanks.
We are also sponsors of the EVERY 15 MINUTES event held at the various Senior High Schools. We work with the Police and Fire departments to present a mock-alcohol related car crash the week of the chosen school's prom to alert the teens to the dangers of drinking and driving. Our members attending the chosen school are encouraged to be a part of the event.
Members have developed a program for 5th grade students about to make the transition to middle school. While teachers and parents can talk to them about the changes, the dangers, etc. it seems to have more effect coming from teenagers who have recently been through it. YAC members who do this presentation share their successes as well as their failures with them. One message we try to send to the 5th graders is: "Commit - don't quit."
We also share with the dangers of smoking by involving them in a game - we have them do 10 jumping jacks then blow into a drinking straw. This shows them how smoking diminishes their lung capacity. This program has been very well received and we plan to keep it going through each school year.
We did a similar presentation for the parents of 5th graders at Weatherford Elementary School. Parents got the opportunity to ask questions and gain insight into what the members faced when transitioning to middle school. We had some very positive feedback from the school and the parents and also plan on doing this program as much as possible.
We man floats for the City's annual Christmas parade. Members will design, help construct and man the float.
We are in the process of filming a 10-20 minute segment to be aired on Plano Wired on the Plano Television Network. Commission members are acting as Producers, Stage Managers, etc. Topics will include Building Self-esteem, College and Career Opportunities, the dangers of drinking and driving, sexually transmitted diseases, date rape and teen pregnancy to name just a few. As you can see, we stay very busy!
How do I get on the Commission?
At the beginning of each school year we send packets to the schools advising them of the number of students we need from each grade level. We asked the principals and counselors to nominate four students for each opening. Those students are asked to complete a very simple application in which they tell us why they would like to serve on the Commission and how they heard about us. Students may be interviewed by our Council Liaison, Staff Liaisons and our Police Liaison. Final selection is that of the City.
We suggest that you contact either your Principal or Counselor and let them know of your interest in our group or call Mrs. Hanks.