This year has created challenges about how we carry on the events, activities and relationships that make our community special. One of the programs I’m focused on is the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission (MYAC) which is comprised of our 9th-12th graders in our community. MYAC gives its members an opportunity to develop leadership skills and apply those skills through giving back and participating in the processes of government. It also allows these driven individuals a chance to network, collaborate, and grow together.
MYAC was started under Mayor Tammy and I had the pleasure to watch the program blossom over the years. Now in its fifteenth year, it continues to provide local students with opportunities to engage in important issues and give back through service projects in the community. More importantly, it provides city leaders, myself included, a chance to connect with the minds of tomorrow and gain insight into the issues that our youth find important.
In addition to honing their leadership skills in conflict resolution, time management, teamwork, and program management, MYAC students learn about the in’s and out’s of government at all levels. In fact, this year they’ve already had the chance to engage stakeholders and learn more about the legislative process thanks to Senator Chuck Winder.
Just as parents, students, and teachers have had to adjust to a new style of learning, MYAC is operating in a new way as well. Our new Program and Events Specialist, Tim Hendrickson, has helped to create a MYAC program connecting its members with the community using technology.
The great thing about MYAC is that it’s never too late to join and get involved. While some clubs are taking a step back. MYAC is moving forward. They are always accepting eager students into the group and encourage anyone interested to sign up and attend a meeting to learn more.
MYAC is currently meeting online bi-weekly until they can once again gather together as a group. Their next General Council meeting will be Monday, October 12th at 3:30pm, so be sure to register! I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the phenomenal legacy of MYAC forward. Engaging today’s students is important because these student who have often already developed a love for their community will become tomorrow’s leaders. We should all do what we can to support their education, learning, and development and that is exactly what the MYAC program does. It is our goal to compliment the education they receive in school and enhance the skills they will use in the future as they transition into productive citizens and community leaders.
To our current MYAC students, thank you for your dedication to not only this great program but Meridian as a whole. You have shown great resolve and excitement, in spite of the curve balls of COVID-19. To those that aren’t involved, consider this your invitation to become a part of this longstanding tradition. I hope to see your face at the next MYAC meeting!