Normal Puts Youth 'On A Mission' To Learn About Local Government
The Town of Normal has created a youth advisory council for high school students to get involved in local government.
Town Council member Chemberly Cummings helped start a pilot program two years ago. She said demand for the program grew, adding the “Youth on a Mission” council will meet eight times during the school year to teach students about how they can play a role in the civic process.
“They want to see change, but I think it’s upon us as adults to also guide them in the right way so they know that you can have a voice whether you are elected or not, and that you don’t have to sit on the sidelines and grumble,” she said.
The program involves high school students from Unit 5, University High School in Normal and YouthBuild McLean County. Cummings said the council will give students practical experience about how government works “so that we can thoroughly engage the students in a meaningful way and not just have a program that is just stamped of they can put on a resume.”
She said students will learn about community service projects, lobbying and strategic planning. They also will create a project proposal to present to the Normal Town Council when the program finishes next spring, and take part in a lobbying day at the Illinois capitol next April.
The program is looking for volunteers, high school liaisons and college mentors.