With the strike of the gavel, the president of the youth government board gets everyone back on track. After a short discussion, the meeting resumes, continuing with sub-committee reports and details of youth liaisons.
Many youth government boards throughout cities take action to make a change. The San Carlos Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is one of many.
As a part of the organization, youth are trained by mentors from a diverse set of backgrounds. The students learn how they can make changes in the real world, rather than just a classroom setting.
As a youth director and advisor for the San Carlos YAC, Caitlyn Matoso has found that she has not only been able to pass her experience to the young leaders but has also learned a lot from the many young students she works with daily. She hopes her efforts further bridges the gap between the youth and adult communities.
“From my personal experience working with YAC, the impact the kids can have on the community is amazing. It’s huge!” Matoso said.
In the YAC, students get opportunities that aren’t available to the ordinary high schooler. Students not only learn about local government and political issues but also gain universally-applicable skills, such as discipline and focus.
As an active member of the YAC, senior Allie Ayers uses the knowledge she’s gained from the council to volunteer and improve her community.
“You can see how they can make a difference in their community like, at YAC, we volunteer a lot and help our community make a change,” Ayers said.
Although making a change can be difficult and sometimes impossible, the skills and benefits gained from these experiences can be unforgettable.