BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Applications are now being accepted for the 2015-2016 Mayor's Youth Advisory Council.
The Office of Mayor-President in East Baton Rouge established the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council in the early 2000s in order to give youth in East Baton Rouge Parish the opportunity to voice their concerns about their communities and provide a platform for which youth could use to implement change in their communities.
"A lot of adults try to run issues that affect youth, so this is one way that youth can voice their opinions take charge of their communities and say, 'Here's what I want done,' and here's a program that's going to help me get that job done," said Godis Jackson, a youth advisor with the council.
The council provides high school students throughout East Baton Rouge Parish the chance to get a jump start on civic responsibility, leadership and advocacy through a one-year term on the council.
According to the council, the mission of the East Baton Rouge Mayor's Youth Advisory Council is to assist with the development of educational programs that provide opportunities for exploring citizenship and cultural awareness on local and state levels; developing and increasing leadership, social, emotional, and character skills; and building a sense of civic engagement.
In addition to attending monthly meetings, members of the council are called upon to be representatives and advocates for issues impacting youth in the parish and they work with city-parish leaders to implement plans and projects to help eliminate those issues.
"The opportunities are open to them to decide what issues are important and how we look at those issues," Jackson added.
The most recent issue the council tackled was childhood obesity. In 2014, the council worked with the mayor's Healthy BR initiative to create an original song and music video promoting their health and wellness campaign. This year, the council will select more issues to take on.
"They'll come up with the way in which they want to tackle those issues; so if it's through a music video like in the past or if it's doing a community service project collecting food to tackle hunger in the community, then that's one of the ways that they can do that," Jackson explained.
Applications will be accepted online only through Friday, October 2. About 80 students will be selected to serve on this year's council.