September 9, 2019
On August 26 the South Bend Common Council unanimously supported ordinance amendment 10666-19, sponsored by Councilmember Karen White, which reboots the Common Council’s longstanding Youth Advisory Council (YAC) in collaboration the Neighborhood Resources Connection (NRC). The NRC was awarded a Spring 2019 Special Project Challenge Grant in the amount of $10,000 by the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County. The grant award was matched by the City’s Engagement & Economic Empowerment team and aims to expand the organization’s current research-based youth engagement programming—Engaging Youth, Engaging Neighborhoods (EYEN)—to incorporate older students (grades 9-12) in neighborhood-based civic leadership. Ordinance 10666-19 grants legislative power to the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), giving them authority to present official policy recommendations to their Common Council colleagues. In its inaugural year, EYEN alumni are strongly encouraged to apply for participation on the Youth Advisory Council.
Beginning this fall, YAC members will engage with an arts-based curriculum designed to identify neighborhood concerns, assets, and opportunities in collaboration with neighborhood and civic organizations. Over the course of the school year, YAC participants will develop civic leadership skills and participate in the policymaking process with the mentorship of the Common Council and City administration.
Applications for the arts-based Youth Advisory Council (YAC) are now open. Interested parties can apply online at the NRC’s or southbendin.gov/YAC<https://southbendin.gov/YAC>. All youth in grades 9-12 residing within South Bend city limits are eligible to apply. The application deadline to participate in the 2019-2020 Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is Friday, September 20, 2019.