City Hall Colorado Springs

A new program for high school students will get 10th and 11th graders involved in city government. Students accepted for the program will serve as liaisons to the city’s boards, commissions and committees.

The Youth Ambassador Program is accepting applications from Colorado Springs high school students now through Wednesday, October 24.

The 18-month program will begin in January, with the intent of giving students a seat at the table. Though they won’t vote, they will get to voice their opinions about decisions impacting the community.

City Council authorized the program in conjunction with the Office of Innovation and Sustainability.

“The Youth Ambassador Program is modeled after a youth program at the YMCA,” Councilor Merv Bennett said via email. “The Y’s program added a perspective that was invaluable and allowed young people to learn to be a part of a board and engage in the community.

“Quite often it was a high school student asking the question that most of the adults were afraid to ask,” Bennett said. “Their perspectives were fresh and productive, and it turned out to be a very positive experience. We hope the city’s program will be just as successful.”

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The mission of the program is to promote youth and community partnerships, encourage teen engagement and cultivate meaningful opportunities for the city’s young adults.

Tenth and 11th graders currently enrolled in a Colorado Springs high school and home-schooled teens who are Colorado Springs residents are eligible to apply for a youth liaison position on one of the following boards or commissions:

• Food Policy Advisory Board, which meets 8:30 a.m. the first Thursday of every month;
• Commission on Aging, which meets 3 p.m. the first Wednesday of every month;
• Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Board, which meets 2:30 p.m. the first Tuesday of every month;
• Audit Committee, which meets 10 a.m. the third Thursday of every month;
• Public Art Commission, which meets 4 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month; or
• TOPS (Trails, Open Space, and Parks) Working Committee, which meets 7:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month.

Applications to the program are due by 5 p.m. Oct. 24.  There are several ways to apply:

• Online:  Fill out and submit the application (Website application)
• Email:  Print and complete the application from the City’s website and send to jpuett@springsgov.com
• Mail:  Print the application from the city’s website
and mail it to the City Council Office, P.O. Box 1575, MC 1549, Colorado Springs, CO 80901
• Drop off: at the City Council office, 107 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 300

Interviews will be held from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, at City Hall, 107 N. Nevada Ave., Suite 300. A mandatory training session for the selected youth liaisons will be held 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4 at City Hall. Youth liaisons must bring their signed parental permission form to the training session.

For more information, contact Jacquelyn Puett at 719-385-5453 or jpuett@springsgov.com.

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