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Mayor's Youth Council

Photo of the 2015 Mayor's Youth Council

The mission of the Mayor’s Youth Council is to:

  1. provide ongoing and direct input on government policies and practices that may affect young people
  2. advocate on issues and initiatives that may impact the lives of young people
  3. recommend and foster initiatives for and by youth
  4. act as a communication link between the Metropolitan Government and the young people of Nashville
  5. promote and recognize the abilities, accomplishments, and contributions of young people in their communities

Statistics and Demographics

  • 44 youth representing 23 public, private, and charter schools
  • Racial, socioeconomic, and cultural diversity
  • Mayor’s Youth Council participants are evaluated across 4 impact areas: Safety, Connection & Significance, Participation & Empowerment, and Generosity & Justice
    • 2016-17 evaluation data will be made available by the end of May

2016-2017 Highlights

  • Opportunity NOW Youth Summer Employment Initiative: In spring 2017, MYC organized an awareness campaign in support of Nashville’s new summer youth employment program, Opportunity Now. Students from MYC planned and implemented enrollment drives at various high schools, recruited youth ambassadors to deliver informational workshops, and hosted a citywide launch party to encourage Nashville youth to apply for summer jobs. MYC also helped to create financial literacy materials to support the many local students who receive their first paycheck through the summer employment program.
  • Citywide Youth Advisory Council Mobilization: In April 2017 MYC mobilized several active youth councils for a strategic planning meeting with Mayor Megan Barry. Participating groups included the Metro Transit Authority Youth Action Team, the Public Health Department Youth Advisory Board, the Public Library’s T.O.T.A.L. Youth Advisory Council, the TN Immigrant & Refugee Right’s Coalition J.U.M.P. Youth Advisory Team, Oasis Center’s Just Us LGBT Advisory Group, Metro Parks Youth Advisory Council and the College Connection Youth Advisory Team among other youth representatives from local nonprofits and youth-serving organizations. Youth were able to share questions and recommendations with the mayor regarding issues related to public education, college access, public transit, and LGBT issues.
  • AkzoNobel Human Cities Grant Fund and Scholarship: In May 2017, MYC will receive a $100K grant from AkzoNobel in support of the Human Cities Initiative. The partnership will allow MYC to provide funds for youth-led civic improvement projects around the city and provide up to ten educational scholarships for Nashville high school students. Projects will be focused on revitalizing urban areas while making people’s lives more livable and inspiring. The partnership allows youth to take an active role in improving the city through much needed infrastructure improvement while also providing resources for our students to pursue higher education. MYC students will award their first round of grant funds for community projects in fall 2017.
  • Supporting Youth Entrepreneurship: In November 2016, MYC announced a partnership with the Oasis Venture Youth Entrepreneurship Program and Google Fiber to support a series of entrepreneurship workshops for youth called the Youth Entrepreneur Power Sessions. These full-day workshops are held monthly and focus on various topics related to entrepreneurship, technology, and digital literacy. Workshops are free and open to all youth ages 13 – 18. MYC hosted 4 workshops in the spring of 2017 and serving nearly 75 students with entrepreneurial training and support.
  • Other Community Engagement: MYC students participated in several other community initiatives and engaged with local leaders throughout the year. Other activities included:
    • Stop the Violence Spoken Word Event: In October 2016, MYC partnered with the Nashville Conflict Resolution Center and Southern Word to host a spoken word event called Stop The Violence at Rocketown. The event highlighted Mayor Megan Barry’s youth violence initiative and invited youth to share original poetry inspired by young people’s hopes to curtail Nashville violence. Following the event, MYC offered youth participants the opportunity to join a special youth task force to continue their engagement in the youth violence effort and support any related initiatives.
    • Parks and Greenways Steering Committee: MYC youth provided input to the Metro Parks Department’s Parks and Greenways Master Plan Update. Youth provided organizational and personal insights and served as a conduit to leveraging their peer-networks in order to create broad support for input into the plan. Due to their involvement the committee gained valuable youth perspective pertaining to Nashville’s community centers, athletic facilities, golf courses, sidewalks, bikeways, and educational programing for safety across the city.
    • Celebrate Nashville: MYC youth participated in the annual festival by creating the World Map which allowed international residents of Nashville to pinpoint their origins, highlighting the diversity of culture among Nashville residents.
    • Youth Voter Registration: Throughout the year MYC participated in planning efforts with the Davidson County Election Commission in preparation for a 2018 youth voter registration drive. MYC hopes to continue the success of their 2016 voter registration drive which was supported by U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper and State Sen. Steve Dickerson, and resulted in an 85% increase in registered youth voters. MYC efforts helped to register 2,865 new voters in Davidson County, almost doubling the record of 1,551 new student voters set the previous year. MYC plans to launch their next voter registration initiative in January 2018.

On February 24, 2016, Mayor Megan Barry signed an Executive Order (25) reauthorizing the Mayor’s Youth Council of Nashville and Davidson County.

Mayor's Youth Council logo

Mayor's Youth Council 2017-18 Application. Submit by September 1, 2017.

About the Mayor’s Youth Council

The Mayor’s Youth Council works to engage youth across Nashville in community initiatives.

All MYC efforts are designed to engage youth across Nashville in civic and community initiatives that contribute to our thriving city. Research has shown benefits of youth civic engagement include: budget savings, increased support for city initiatives, improved policies and programs for youth, identification as a youth- friendly community, and improved indicators of well-being among youth. MYC creates opportunities for students to participate in community efforts that are of importance to youth, increasing the likelihood that youth will continue their contributions to Nashville communities in their adult years.

Mayor’s Youth Council provides youth voice and participation to Metro Government and community stakeholders.

Youth encompass distinct ideas, opinions, and perspectives as well as unique talents, expertise, and skills that can be utilized to benefit communities in a variety of ways. MYC creates opportunities for city leaders and stakeholders to hear youth voices on a variety of issues including public education, collegeaccess, public transit, and youth services. The Mayor’s Youth Council is a go-to source for youth voice in the city, providing feedback on a number of projects and working with agencies including the Mayor’s Office, the Metro Planning Commission, the Metro Transit Authority, the Public Health Department, and countless others.

Mayor’s Youth Council provides the portal for youth to access needed resources and services.

In addition to adding youth voice and participation in city works, MYC helps increase the number of youth accessing needed wraparound services by sharing information though a peer-to-peer youth network. Each year MYC convenes youth civic leaders from various citywide youth advisory councils including the Metro Transit Authority, the Metro Public Health Department, Metro Parks, Metro Public Library, and a host of youth-serving organizations and non-profits to help spread the word about needed services and resources. Our work values the impact of youth when they are used as extensions of city government, helping to provide access to other youth who are most in need of these supports.