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
- 55 youth representing 23 public, private, and charter schools
- Racial, socioeconomic, and cultural diversity
- Mayor’s Youth Council participants are evaluated across 4 impact areas:
- Connection and Significance
- Participation and Empowerment
- Generosity and Justice.
- 68.8% increase in Connection and Significance impact area in 2016-17
- 62.5% increase in Participation and Empowerment impact area in 2016-17
2017-18 Projects and Community Engagement
- 2018 Mayor’s Youth Summit
- Citywide Youth Voter Registration Initiative
- Child and Youth Master Plan 2018 Youth Survey
- AkzoNobel Human Cities Initiative
- Vanderbilt/NIJ Youth Safety and Well-Being Community Mapping Effort
- Transit Alliance Citizen Leadership Academy
- Resilience Nashville Steering Committee
- Opportunity Now Initiative
- Citywide Youth Advisory Council Collaborative
Mayor’s Youth Summit
In January 2018 the MYC hosted the Mayor’s Youth Summit, bringing together over 300 students at Lipscomb University to provide key insight, ideas, and recommendations on a variety of issues affecting youth in Nashville. Students participated in youth-led breakout sessions with the goal of generating a comprehensive report to share with Mayor David Briley, Dr. Shawn Joseph, and various other stakeholder groups.
Citywide Youth Voter Registration Initiative
In February 2018 the Mayor’s Youth Council partnered with Congressman Jim Cooper, Rep. Steve Dickerson and the Davidson County Election Commission to organize a citywide youth voter registration initiative. Students created a marketing campaign and video to raise awareness and hosted the DCEC at 20+ schools across Nashville/Davidson County to register eligible voters. The drive has resulted in at least 2500 new registered youth voters. Final numbers will be announced in April 2018.
Child and Youth Master Plan 2018 Youth Survey
In fall 2017 the MYC partnered with iCitizen to launch a survey assessing opinions and perspectives of youth residing in Nashville. The survey compares results from the 2010 Child and Youth Master Plan survey and measures changes in youth attitudes over the prior decade. In spring 2018 MYC students will deliver survey results to youth from various high schools to analyze and produce findings and recommendations to share with school and community leaders.
AkzoNobel Human Cities Initiative
In 2017, multinational paint company AkzoNobel announced a new partnership with the Mayor’s Youth Council and AkzoNobel’s Human Cities partnership that includes a $100,000 grant that will provide funds for youth-led civic improvement projects around the city and provide up to ten educational scholarships for Nashville high school students. The MYC used the funds to develop a granting process in which Nashville students can submit project proposals for funding. Two projects have been completed to date – a mural designed by international youth during Nashville’s Celebrate Nashville cultural festival, and a massive tree planting and park improvement project at Wright Middle School.
Vanderbilt/NIJ Youth Safety and Well-Being Community Mapping Effort
In fall 2017 the MYC partnered with community researchers from Vanderbilt University to participate in a $5 million dollar NIJ grant focused on Youth Safety and Well-Being in which MYC students will solicit youth input regarding community assets and barriers to safety. In addition, students from MYC will assist in community mapping efforts alongside youth from the Oasis Center to create a database of community assets to support the initiative.
Resilience Steering Committee and Transit Academy
Students from the MYC participated on various citywide committees including the Transit Alliance Citizen Leadership Academy and 100 Resilient Cities Nashville Steering Committee. Through these efforts MYC students had the opportunity to collaborate with local leaders to develop strategies focused on access to public transportation, affordable housing, poverty and economic inclusion. MYC participation on these councils ensured valuable perspectives and voice from Nashville youth were represented in these efforts.
MYC students have been active partners in raising awareness and visibility of the Opportunity NOW (ON) youth employment initiative. Throughout the year students from MYC have collaborated with the ON team to develop strategies for marketing and recruitment in local schools. MYC student ambassador Isaiah Reid served as guest speaker for the ON press event at McGruder Center and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation event highlighting cross-sector collaborations around youth workforce development. In spring 2018 the MYC will co-host a financial education workshop series with ON to focus on providing financial literacy skills to new youth employees.
Citywide Youth Advisory Council Collaborative
In an effort to strengthen the city’s network of youth advisory councils and ensure Nashville is recognized as a national leader in the area of youth civic engagement, the MYC has created opportunities to convene Nashville’s various youth councils for collaborative work. The MYC has collaborated with the MTA 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 on several occasions, including a joint meeting with Mayor Megan Barry in spring 2017 to discuss youth priorities. The MYC has also held joint planning meetings with the Belfast City Youth Council, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, a sister-city of Nashville. The MYC plans to continue these collaborative efforts to engage and strengthen youth civic leaders in Nashville in years to come.