(Miami-Dade County, FL) -- Students ranging in age from 15 to 18 years will be the new faces at Miami-Dade County Hall as local leaders officially welcome the group to the County's first Youth Commission. The commission, conceived by Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, was developed to provide young residents an opportunity to learn and participate in County government by articulating the issues and needs of youth in the community. The swearing-in ceremony and certificate presentation will be held at County Hall, 111 NW 1st Street, on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.
In their new position, members of the Youth Commission will advise the Mayor and Commissioners on matters and programs affecting the youth and teen population. The Miami-Dade Juvenile Services Department, under the umbrella of the County's Violence Intervention Project (VIP), has also been behind the initiative's implementation.
"The benefits of the Youth Commission are two-fold: not only will our youth understand more about how local government works, but our County officials will also be more in touch with the problems facing children and teenagers today and learn how to better address them," said Commissioner Jordan. "I'm looking forward to the insight these bright, young minds will bring to County Hall."
Each commissioner appointed a student representing each of the secondary schools in his or her district. The appointments were made based on nominations by Miami-Dade County Public Schools and an orientation process. To be qualified, students had to be in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grade, have a minimum 2.0 grade point average, demonstrate a sincere interest and motivation to work for the community, and have a background in community-based activities.
Some responsibilities the selected members will be charged with include fostering increased youth involvement in County government, holding forums on issues concerning local youth, recommending community programs beneficial to youths, commenting on proposed legislation impacting youths, and submitting an annual report of activities to the County Commission and Mayor. Additionally, each member will meet with the official who appointed them on a quarterly basis to discuss teen and community issues of concern to them. The Youth Commission will meet at the call of the Chairperson or at the request of the majority of the membership, but no less than once a month. The group will be subject to the Government in the Sunshine and Public Records requirements. Members will serve one year terms, and can only serve two terms at most.
For more information, please contact Commissioner Jordan's office at 305-375-5694.