By: Holly Hollman
High school students in Athens who are interested in learning about and serving their city are encouraged to submit applications for the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission.
Youth Commission is for students in grades 10-12 who attend Athens High School, Athens Bible School, and Lindsay Lane Christian Academy, or who are home schooled in Athens. The mission of the AMYC is to teach students about local government’s role and their role to be engaged and informed citizens.
Students will meet with mentors once a month October through May, and will participate in community service projects, a community grant program, and the student-led podcast called “All In With Athens.” They must also attend an Athens City Council meeting and an Athens City Board of Education meeting.
New this year is the Senior Buddy program. Martin & Hubbs Insurance is sponsoring this portion of the program which will pair Youth Commissioners with senior citizens who regularly attend at the Athens Activity Center. The center will house “mailboxes” where Youth Commissioners will leave cards of encouragement, letters and goody bags for their senior buddies.
“We also want to schedule time for Youth Commissioners to teach their senior buddies about using cellphones or laptops, and for the senior buddies to teach them things like how to play dominoes or how to sew,” said Youth Commission mentor Holly Hollman. “We also want them to engage with each other at the center at the dancercise classes and other activities.”
Police Chief Floyd Johnson, one of the mentors, said the program provides students a chance to learn about city departments, including the Police Department.
“They also learn about local non-profits, and they learn how they can contribute to our city,” he said.
Mayor Ronnie Marks, one of the mentors, said Youth Commission is not just for the 4.0 GPA students.
“We need a mixture of all students, and really, we would love to be that program that inspires a student who maybe isn’t involved in something else,” Marks said. “Not everyone is an athlete. Not everyone makes straight A’s. If you have a desire to learn and serve, then we would love for you to turn in an application. One year a student simply wrote on his application, ‘I might be somebody one day.’ Well, that’s exactly the student we want to help build confidence in becoming exactly who he wants to be.”
A committee will score applications. The program will accept about 40 students, which includes students who served last year.
Applications for Youth Commission are available online at www.athensal.us, on the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission Facebook page and at City Hall in the foyer. Forms have also been sent to the schools. Applications from new candidates are due by Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.
By: Holly Hollman