OGDEN – Ogden City Council is now accepting applications from students in grades nine through 12 in the Ogden School District as a deadline approaches for positions on a new youth council and leadership academy.
The board opened submissions for students last week.
According to an August 25 press release, the application deadline will be September 15. Application forms are available online at ogdencity.com/151/City-Council.
A maximum of nine students will be selected for the Youth Council. Students will meet once or twice a month with members of the city council, organize and lead community service projects.
All Ogden area students who qualify can be involved in the Youth Leadership Academy, which is open to students interested in learning more about local government.
Ogden City Council policy analyst Ross Watkins will lead the program and has facilitated communication between council members and local schools.
Although the students will have no formal authority, Watkins said, they will have the opportunity to act as an advisory committee to the city council, gaining first-hand experience in local government and local legislative processes.
“We want to involve kids in what matters most, what affects them most… local government,” Watkins said, “and help them see, ‘Hey, there’s this decision that goes through the Commission of planning, and they’re going to decide whether or not to put 50 townhouses in my neighborhood,” and help them realize that they can have a say in that.”
There will be one to three members of the municipal council who will act as student advisors.
Angela Choberka, council member representing District 1, will advise both the youth council and the Leadership Academy.
“I know the board is interested, and I’m really interested, in hearing what’s important to students,” Choberka said. “I think it’s a bit of a twofold thing, it’s about their education but also having those voices included in some of our conversations that we have at board level.”
A highlight for all participating students includes a trip to the Utah State Capitol on Local Government Day, while legislative sessions are taking place.