The mission of the Mayor’s Youth Council is to:
- provide ongoing and direct input on government policies and practices that may affect young people
- advocate on issues and initiatives that may impact the lives of young people
- recommend and foster initiatives for and by youth
- act as a communication link between the Metropolitan Government and the young people of Nashville
- promote and recognize the abilities, accomplishments, and contributions of young people in their communities
Statistics and Demographics
- 63 youth grades 9–12 residing in Nashville/Davidson County representing 23 schools
- Members reflect the diversity of Nashville neighborhoods and represent various cultural, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds
- In 2018-19, MYC contributed 3,310 service hours, implemented 10 citywide youth engagement events, and distributed $47,000 in scholarships to Nashville high school graduates
- Mayor’s Youth Council participants are evaluated across four impact areas of youth success:
- Connection and Belonging
- Participation and Empowerment
- Generosity and Justice
- Of surveyed participants:
- 100% reported an increase in their community participation and sense of empowerment
- 98% reported an increase in their connection and belonging in their community.
- 93% reported an increase in generosity and giving back
- 49% reported an increase in their sense of safety in the community
2018-2019 Projects and Community Engagement
- 2019 Mayor’s Youth Summit
- Citywide Youth Voter Registration and Turnout
- Mayor's Youth Council State of Nashville Youth Report
- AkzoNobel Community Improvement Initiative
- Vanderbilt/National Institute of Justice Youth Safety and Well-Being Community Mapping Effort
- Opportunity NOW Community Awareness Campaign
- Supporting Youth Civic Engagement in Tennessee and Abroad
2019 Mayor’s Youth Summit
Each year the Mayor’s Youth Summit brings together Nashville youth in an effort to strengthen youth citizenship and civic engagement. This year, the Mayor’s Youth Summit took place on March 20, 2019 at Lipscomb University and engaged over 300 Nashville students, community leaders, advocates, and policymakers. Participants joined youth-led breakout sessions with guest appearances from elected officials and community stakeholders. Youth provided key insight, ideas, and recommendations on topics ranging from college access to juvenile justice reform. The event aimed to inform and encourage students to make positive changes in their communities and help us build a better Nashville for all young people. Final feedback from the Summit is compiled in the 2019 Mayor's Youth Council State of Youth Report.
Citywide Youth Voter Turnout Initiative
In November 2018 the Mayor’s Youth Council led a young voter turnout initiative contributing to Tennessee’s 664% increase in young early voters in the 2018 midterm elections. Members hosted two press events, submitted op-ed pieces to local newspapers, and implemented a Youth Voter Block party which brought together candidates and community members. The effort was a follow-up to the 2018 voter registration effort with Congressman Jim Cooper and the Davidson County Election Commission, which resulted in a widely distributed marketing campaign and video to raise awareness, 20+ rallies across Nashville/Davidson County high schools, and 2755 new registered voters.
AkzoNobel Grant Fund Initiative
Global coatings company AkzoNobel announced a new partnership with the Mayor’s Youth Council in 2017 that included a $100,000 grant for youth-led civic improvement projects around the city. This year we implemented 6 community improvement projects:
- Nashville Public Library “Quilt Mural” (at entrance of downtown Nashville Public Library garage)
- Apollo Middle School Tree Planting
- Johnson ALC Community Garden
- Tony Rose Park Mural and Tree Planting
- McGruder Center Mural and Playground
- William Edmondson Park Flower Garden
We also distributed $47,000 in scholarship funds to 25 Nashville high school graduates.
State of Youth Report
In spring 2019 we presented Mayor David Briley with their State of Nashville Youth Report, a summary of data, feedback, and recommendations from Nashville youth. The report was developed over a period of 16 months and includes the feedback of over 500 students participants from annual Mayor’s Youth Summits, multiple youth voter turnout events, and results of a comprehensive survey assessing opinions and perspectives of youth residing in Nashville. The report also compares results from the 2010 Child and Youth Master Plan survey and measures changes in youth attitudes over the prior decade. In fall 2019 our students will release the report to the public.
Vanderbilt/National Institute of Justice Youth Safety and Well-Being Community Mapping Effort
In fall 2018 we partnered with community researchers from Vanderbilt University to participate in a $5 million dollar grant focused on Youth Safety and Well-Being in which our students will solicit youth input regarding community assets and barriers to safety. In addition, our students will assist in community mapping efforts to create a database of community assets to support the initiative.
Supporting Youth Civic Engagement in Tennessee and Abroad
In an effort to strengthen the fabric of youth civic engagement in all communities,we sought to connect with youth civic leaders in Tennessee and abroad. In 2019, we engaged in collaborative learning sessions with students from Memphis, Tennessee, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Casablanca, Morrocco. All sessions involved lessons on democracy, community organizing, and social studies. In February 2019 we hosted a one-day strategy session with civic leaders from Memphis, Tennessee aimed at developing youth-led community initiatives including a Mayor’s Youth Council for the city of Memphis. The Memphis Mayor’s Youth Council was officially formed and announced following this session in May 2019. Our students also assisted in a 4-day civic leadership camp, WE CITY, sponsored by Oasis Center. The camp intends to build a network of youth leaders to support Nashville’s collection of youth advisory councils and ensure Nashville is recognized as a national leader in the area of youth civic engagement. We created opportunities to convene Nashville’s youth leaders for collaborative work and will continue efforts to deepen connections with the Metro Transit Authority Youth Action Team, the Metro Public Health Department Youth Advisory Board, the Metro Public Library T.O.T.A.L., and Metro Parks Youth Advisory Board.