ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Governor’s Office for Children today announced that applications are now being accepted for the Maryland Youth Advisory Council for 2018-2019. This program was established through the Maryland General Assembly to ensure that Maryland youth are given the opportunity to provide feedback regarding public policies affecting their future and take a leadership role in creating meaningful change for our state.
“I believe the voice of our youth is an important component in the legislative process,” said Acting Executive Director of the Governor’s Office for Children, Jaclin Warner Wiggins. “Engaging our citizens at an early age empowers them to help shape their future and build a legacy of social and political engagement for future generations.”
As a coalition of diverse young advocates and leaders from across the state, the Council strives to serve as an effective voice that addresses relevant issues by influencing legislation, spreading public awareness, and serving as a liaison between youth and policymakers.
“I decided to join the council to serve as a microphone for the Maryland youth who are impacted by statewide legislation, local policy, and school board decisions,” said Darius Craig of Baltimore City, who serves as Chair of the Council and attends the University of Maryland College Park. “It’s vital that the youth voice is properly taken into account when policy is debated.”
Currently, the Council is composed of 24 members representing Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Frederick, Garrett, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s, Talbot, and Washington counties, and Baltimore City.
Council members must be 14-22 years of age on September 1, 2018, serve a two-year term (September 1, 2018 – August 31, 2020), and meet monthly from September through May with additional opportunities for events, meetings, and legislative testimony throughout the year.
Council members will be selected to ensure a diverse representation of Maryland’s youth statewide, and are appointed by the:
- Governor of Maryland
- President of the Maryland Senate
- Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates
- Governor’s Office for Children appoints council members nominated by the:
- Maryland Association of Student Councils,
- University System of Maryland Student Council,
- Maryland Higher Education Commission Student Advisory Council, and
- Association of Local Management Boards.
Applications for 2018-2019 are available from March 1 – July 1, 2018 and are available online at http://goc.maryland.gov/myacapp.
“I wanted to join the Maryland Youth Advisory Council because I believe that the voice of youth matters in creating change,” said Gabrielle Shlikas of Harford Country’s Edgewood High School. “Young people are the most versatile, imaginative, and passionate people I know, and I saw the Council as an opportunity to take this point of view to the people that create our laws. The perspective of youth today is uniquely distinct from the voices of our parents and grandparents, and any opportunity to let that voice be heard is an opportunity I am willing to take. I am very proud to be a member of the Maryland Youth Advisory Council.”
The Governor’s Office for Children serves as a coordinating office that promotes the well-being of Maryland’s children, youth, and families. It partners with state agencies, Local Management Boards, and community-based organizations committed to ensuring that children, youth, and families live and prosper in healthy, safe, and thriving communities.
Image courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor of Maryland