Taylorsville City Youth Council


Morgan Thompson

Taylorsville City Youth Council being sworn in.

Morgan Thompson, Reporter

Taylorsville City Youth Council is a local government group for teens who want to be involved in their community. The council is specifically for students from 9th to 12th grade that live or go to school within the Taylorsville City limits. They work to complete service projects around the city, participate in city council meetings, as well as many other things to improve their knowledge and experience in local government. 

“The Youth City Program was created by the City of Taylorsville’s elected officials to provide an opportunity for young people to learn about and participate in local government,” says the Taylorsville City Website. “Youth Council members organize and take part in community events and service projects in the area.”

The new Youth Council members were recently sworn in this past year and are beginning their experience as a city council member. There are also many Youth Council members that have been involved all throughout high school. For many of them, this will be their third year as a council member. 

These past few months as a Youth Council member has been quite chaotic. Meetings and service projects were put on hold for almost two months, but Youth Council is slowly able to get going again. One of their most recent activities was job shadowing people who work at Taylorsville City Hall.

“I learned a lot from those job shadows,” said new Youth Council member, Tyne Vanderbilt. “I feel like they said some pretty smart things about staying focused in high school and college and how if life takes you one direction, just follow it because things will turn out in the end.” 

Those who have been in Youth Council for many years have been able to have many opportunities and experiences that increase their knowledge in local government. 

“I think [Youth Council] has given me a lot of insight in noticing things that go on,” said two-year member, Savannah Medico. “I didn’t know that the city did a lot of things like, I didn’t know that there was a council that did service projects all the time.”

Youth Council also prepares teens for their future. Youth Council can offer scholarships and even job opportunities. Being a member of Youth Council can also help with resumes and college applications. 

“It’s just good for me,” said new member, Merryim Loose. “Especially because I want to go to law school and become a policy attorney and/or a city government attorney so I can build the stuff for the legislatures. I feel like this is a good place to start to make sure it’s what I want.”

However, Youth Council is not only for those who are looking for a future in government. “I know for sure it’ll probably help me get into colleges, so that’s a start,” Vanderbilt says. “I don’t see myself going into any political career but I think it’s fun being here in the moment so it’s something I can talk to my kids about and kind of pass down.”

There are so many benefits from being in Youth Council, not only that will help in your future, but will help you become better as a person. “Teamwork is one of the biggest things that you learn just because it’s people from all over,” says second year member, Brandon Sorenson. “A lot of times people you don’t really know, so you can get to know them through similar interests and you just get to work together.”

“[I’ve learned to] be nice to everyone,” Loose says. “Even if they’re not super sweet to you to begin with… that’s okay, but if you treat everyone with grace and understanding it is just a lot better.”

Kris Heineman has been in charge of Taylorsville City Youth Council for just over eight years. She loves her city and what she does. “I think it helps them understand the community they live in,” she says. “It helps them to understand that everything has a cost and there are agencies that are wanting to improve their life, their neighborhood, their communities.”

To be in Youth Council, members must maintain a minimum of a 3.0 grade point average and citizenship and must submit two letters of recommendation, one of which from a school teacher, when they apply. A few other requirements must take place once in the council, such as coming to meetings and participating in activities. Youth Council meetings are held every first and third Wednesday of the month at 3:00 in the City Hall Building.

“If anybody is interested and they want to help their community, please apply,” Heineman says. “We’d love to have them.”