Mayor's Youth Leadership Council
Back row, from left: Hunter Sorge, Jeanne Bramhall, Katie Griger, Ashley Blunk, Sara Matras, Dylan Zinszer, Mason Zinszer, Will Jones
Middle row, from left: Ofc. Tony Foster, Kolby Griger, Nic Caberos, Bobby Larsen, Elizabeth Naber, Morgan McCullough, Maddie Lutz, Sam Lutz
Front row, from left: Levi Pena, Sara Kate Naber, Kailee Hernandes, Leah Pfeifer, Christa Rahl, Kaylin Pratt, Nathan Wilson
Encouraging and equipping the youth of Papillion to become civically involved, preparing them to become community leaders of tomorrow.
The Mayor's Youth Leadership Council demonstrates an effort by the mayor to civically engage and challenge Papillion's youngest citizens. PMYLC is a great opportunity to give youth a voice and a chance to identify and solve community issues they face, especially those decisions that directly affect young people.
Through civic engagement, PMYLC members gain work experience, acquire new skills, learn responsibility and accountability, develop a greater sense of confidence, empowerment, and membership, and forge meaningful connections with other youth and adults. Many adults are surprised that youth care about "adult" issues, not only playgrounds and skate parks. Issues such as transportation, environment, taxes, potholes, and sewers are also concerns to the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council.
Young people want and deserve a voice in Papillion. City and towns officials make decisions that affect youth on a daily basis, yet young people have no direct role in shaping or influencing local policies and programs. Even well-intentioned efforts to work on behalf of youth – by "protecting" them from perceived threats or by "rescuing" those who are already in jeopardy – can prevent us from recognizing the importance of working with youth to identify positive solutions and build stronger communities.
A unique aspect of PMYLC is that it involves the community's youngest citizens, who may not have been asked for their opinion or approached to participate in Papillion. Often these youth have the most direct knowledge and experience of the issues that face young people. Also, the traditional "non-joiners" might be the youth that do not go away to college and remain in the community as adults. A good mix of ALL of the above is extremely important to understanding and addressing the needs and issues of today's Papillion youth.