A Community Involvement Opportunity for Youth
Since the dawn of time people have formed communities so they can interact and feel inclusive with others. Participating and being involved in a community can provide many benefits including inspiration and motivation, lessons learned, contacts, opportunities, and social aspects.
The members of the Draper City Mayor’s Youth Council (DCMYC) understand these benefits and are eagerly participating in the Draper community at an early age. The DCMYC provides youth, ages 9th grade through 12th grade an opportunity to increase their knowledge of civic education through practical hands-on experience.
During their time with the DCMYC, the youth organize and volunteer at city events including the Easter Egg Scramble, Draper Days Children’s Parade and Parade, Haunted Hallow, and the Christmas in the Heart of Draper Tree Lighting Celebration. “The DCMYC are a REALLY big help to the large events that we have for the community because the city now has a base of volunteers to help run the events. They also get to greet the members of the public at these events and see what an awesome city we have,” says Caroline Sagae, DCMYC Advisor.
They also participate in an annual Legislative Day and Leadership Conference. During the Legislative Day located at the Utah Capitol, they participate in a mock trial where a government bill is debated. In recent years, the youth have debated the pros and cons of body cameras on city police officers, as well as drug testing for high school sport and clubs. “These mock debates and bills allow the youth to gain an understanding of how actual bills are carefully looked over and discussed,” says Amber Rasmussen, Junior Youth Mayor.
At the leadership conference, which is usually held at Utah State University in Logan, other youth councils come from cities across the state to learn and teach communication and listening skills, build friendships and character, and be inspired by guest speakers.
“The DCMYC also provides aid to their community members through self-lead service projects. Last year, the youth paired up in groups of two or three to perform and evaluate upon a service project that was all organized by themselves,” says Amber Rasmussen, Junior Youth Mayor.