Mayor Youth Council
Photo Credit: David Wood @mishawakamayor
The Mayor Youth Advisory Council (MYAC) is a group of local Mishawaka students who work with the mayor David Wood. The group was given a new president two years ago, this member is a junior at Mishawaka High School (MHS).
Parker Norris has been on the MYAC for two years and is the president. “I work directly with Mayor Wood in regard to all of our meetings and volunteer events,” Norris said. Each member is required to participate in two volunteer events per year. “I make sure that everyone is fulfilling the two year minimum of volunteer events,” said Norris. “Being a part of the MYAC has been a very good opportunity and the experiences I participated in were amazing,” said Norris. The 2018 school year is the last term for Norris. “ Even though this is may be my last year, this organization means a lot to me and I want to see it continue on,” said Norris.
Lou Anne Hazen, the administrative assistant of Mayor David A. Wood said, “We operate all meetings according to Robert's Rules of Order.” Robert’s Rules of Order is the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure in the United States. “Our organization has Bylaws and we hold an election of officers each year; president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer,”said Hazen. Usually the MYAC has ten students from each Mishawaka High School, but the number varies depending on the number of applications received from each school. “The students picked for office by their peers are sworn in, making an oath of office similar to an Elected Official,” explained Hazen.
Skylar Norris is a junior at MHS and this is her second term on the MYAC. “We learn how city government works and what's going on in our city,” said Skylar Norris, ”We also learn life skills such as: hard work, organization, participation, leadership skills, independence, responsibility, togetherness, and the value of service in volunteering.”
MHS junior Alexandria Shide has been with the program for two years. She enjoys the volunteering that members are required to participate in. “The best part about our events is getting to see people's faces light up, seeing how grateful they are. We get to see different parts of the community and see how they make up the city as a whole, how each department operates. The group learn not only about the departments throughout the city, but we also learn more about what the mayor's office does as a whole to better the city for people like you and me,” said Shide.
According to The MYAC admission and invitation letter, MYAC is a group consisting of high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are dedicated to their community. Members are selected by their peers to represent their community. MYAC have been designed to provide an opportunity for young adults to get involved in local government affairs. The goals of MYAC is to address needs, and issues that affect the healthy development of mind and body. Goals are accomplished by researching solutions and implementing effective programs.
Twelve out of thirty-five members are students at MHS. Members must attend a local high school or be home-schooled locally. Each member is required to hold a B or better grade point average, no record of suspension, expulsion, or illegal activity and must have good attendance. Members are only allowed to serve two terms and must be committed to be involved in serving their community, including attending monthly meetings at Mishawaka City Hall.