St. George Youth City Council grooms future community leaders

Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham
Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham

ST. GEORGE – The St. George Youth City Council is grooming the community’s youth to be successful future leaders in business, government or whatever path they may choose.

Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham
Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham

Established in the mid-1990s, the council was placed on hiatus in 2007 due to budget cuts. It was reinstated for the 2010-2011 school year and now operates under the direction of Steve Bingham, City of St. George recreation manager. The success of the council since has inspired other communities to launch similar programs, including Washington City.

The council is a fully-functioning replica of the St. George municipal government with a mayor, city recorder, city manager, communications director, recreation director, service directors and school representatives. Among the members’ many duties are conducting meetings, promoting upcoming projects and activities and recruiting new applicants. With the exception of Bingham and other advisors, the council is entirely led and operated by youth.

Members must have a desire to be involved in politics, which is one of the two main focal points of the program. They work closely with city leaders to understand local government issues and how they affect the community.

Community service is the other crucial facet. With the approval of city officials, members select their own service projects, which range from small-scale fundraisers to some of the most-attended events in the St. George area.

“It’s a great chance to give back,” said Taylor Robles, a 16-year-old Desert Hills High School student who serves as city manager. “It teaches you responsibility as a young adult.”

Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham
Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham

By participating in the program, youth learn valuable leadership skills, gain experience and knowledge of government and receive scholarship opportunities. The goal of all council activities is to develop not only their organization and community, but themselves as individuals. Being part of the council is no easy task. Members must give numerous hours of their time and remain fully committed throughout the year. Kaitlyn Alexander, an 18-year-old Snow Canyon High School student who serves as mayor, often feels the pressure of scheduling meetings, planning events and keeping the program running smoothly.

“It’s hard work, but it’s rewarding to see your hard work pay off,” she said. “I’ve been able to plan events that have made a real impact on the community. “It’s also a neat experience to work with the (people) behind our city and learn from them.”

Any youth attending Snow Canyon, Desert Hills, Dixie, Millcreek or Tuacahn high schools who is able to participate in regular council meetings and service projects and has a willingness to serve is encouraged to apply for the 2013-2014 council. Applications can be downloaded online and must be submitted to steve.bingham@sgcity.org before April 15.

“(These) youth are our future; they are the ones who will someday become business and community leaders in our city, county, state and country,” Bingham said. “We are committed to developing youth leadership and (teaching them) to make their community a better place to live.”

Related posts

Future leaders: Washington City Youth Council

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

 

 Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham
Members of the St. George Youth City Council participate in community activities, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of Steve Bingham

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15 Comments

  • Minority February 18, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    What do you wanna bet those kids are all white and all mormons?

    • Taylor Robles March 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      Actually I am neither.. And I serve as the current City Manager, I advise you to be more informed before you make a false statement.

  • Ken February 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    I guess the kids at Pineview aren’t qualified! Please explain that article writer.

  • Val February 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I can’t speak for the St. George City Youth Council, but as a matter of fact, the Washington City Youth Council is a very diverse group of awesome leaders!

  • Kate March 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    St. George’s YCC is incredibly diverse. There are actually less mormon kids than there are LDS kids, and the adviser is Hispanic. And they all get along incredibly well. It’s not so much about the differences, but what we do to come together to better our community. We’re all together in this.

    • Preston March 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm

      There is hope for our diversifying city’s future…

  • Shailynn Greenhalgh March 3, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    What a great article! Being a member of the St. George Youth City Council I have had the awesome opportunity to work with a very diverse group of teens who come from all kinds of different walks of life! I am amazed to watch such very different people work together use their individual leadership skills to work together as a team!

  • Gilberto Sanchez March 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Zee future of zee city lookz vedy brite. Hail Mary 🙂

  • Urbandesert March 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Diversity in future leaders is perfectly appropriate for the melting pot our city has and will become, as headlines nationwide are saying whites will soon be minority, and hispanics will dominate. Nice to see potential future leaders that will actually reflect their city’s population and new mixed culture, respecting all races and walks of life equally. Way to be an example SGYCC!

  • angi March 4, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    This article gives an open invitation to all youth to apply for the youth city counsel. I encourage you, if you are a youth, to apply for the counsel. If you are an adult, encourage the youth in your life to apply , and then you go and volunteer to give the amount of service hours to the community that these youth give while they juggle school, jobs, and live the balanced lives they live. Way to go YCC! Our future looks bright with these examples of future leaders!

    • Urbandesert March 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Council? How do u mispell something when it’s typed everywhere on here??

      • angi March 4, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        Whoops, dang auto correct texting. I think my opinion was still expressed. Sorry it hit a nerve with you.

  • Peggy Thomson May 6, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    How do I contact the the St. George City youth council? I would like to do a presentation for them or have them come to our agency as a group for a tour and information.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic Joyce Kuzmanic May 6, 2013 at 3:36 pm

      Peggy,

      I have forwarded your interest to the advisor for St. George Youth City Council and asked him to contact you directly.
      Please let me know if I can assist you further.

      ST. GEORGE NEWS | STGnews.com
      Joyce Kuzmanic
      Editor in Chief

      Direct email: jkuzmanic@stgnews.com

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