Nevada County is the first rural county and the eighth in California to create a local Youth Commission. The Board of Supervisors approved the creation of the group Tuesday.
The Nevada County Youth Commission will fight to overcome adolescent social issues, unite youth, and assist the Board of Supervisors in creating beneficial progressive policies. Youth commissioners also get to learn how different parts of the County work and have the opportunity for job shadowing (one such opportunity is pictured here).
“Youth are a large part of our community, and I think it’s extremely important that they have a voice, they are empowered, and that they contribute.” said Nevada County Chief Executive Officer Alison Lehman. “Also, they could elevate issues that maybe we’re not recognizing.”
The Youth Commission is a group of volunteer youth ages 14-19 that either reside within Nevada County and/or are enrolled in a Nevada County’s school system. Its mission statement is to identify, connect, and advocate for the issues facing Nevada County youth. The purpose of the commission is to serve as a bridge between the youth and the Board of Supervisors, while advocating for Nevada County youth and providing recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to facilitate positive change.
“There’s a disconnect between youth within our community and the county government,” said Shaun Chilton, co-chair of the Nevada County Youth Commission Founders. “There are a lot of resources that are offered to youth in our county but within the county offices, there isn’t a straightforward way to get to those resources or an identification method to get to those resources. I think the representation of youth within our county and our involvement will be the most important. We live in a retirement community where the average age is around 50 years old. So, with the youth, it is important we are represented due to most of the voters either don’t have children anymore and they moved out or their kids are younger. There are a lot of high school kids within the county that need representation and the Youth Commission can give that representation. “
The Youth Commission will collaborate with various stakeholders, businesses, cities, special districts, schools, and non-profits in the County to ensure a widespread influence.
Applications for the Youth Commission are open from now until Sept. 1 and will be appointed by fall. Applications may be filled out here. The term runs through June 30.