In 2013, Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger partnered with Burlington High School students to establish the Youth Advisory Council, a student-designed, student-run course through which youth provide input on matters concerning the future of their city.
Students in the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council are passionate about promoting the role of youth in city government, pursuing a career in public service, and improving our community. This group works closely with the mayor, BHS, and various city and community agencies and organizations. Students receive academic credit for their involvement. In addition, students develop important life and policy-making skills through workshops led by community members and by applying their learning to action projects of their choice.
The structure of the Youth Advisory Council was inspired by the efforts to remodel the education system in Burlington and Winooski and aligns with our five key levers for change. The council is 100% youth-led, collaborates with dozens of community partners throughout the year, offers credit for a non-traditional class, and empowers students to explore topics that they are fascinated about.
Below: The Youth Advisory Council hosted peers, family members, and community partners at a mock municipal campaign in spring 2014. Students worked in teams to practice developing a platform and communicating that platform with the public following a workshop with a local political organizer.