The mission of the City of Valdosta Youth Council (VYC) is for youth to build leadership skills and learn about civic responsibility, to gain a better understanding of municipal government, and to prepare youth for a lifetime of public and community service.
2017-2018 Program Year Begins
VYC Kicks Off New Program Year (Video)
Valdosta Youth Council ByLaws (PDF)
Meetings are held once or twice a month during the school year at the Valdosta City Hall, located at 216 E. Central Avenue unless otherwise specified. The day and time of all meetings will be posted in accordance with the Georgia Open Meetings Law. The VYC will not officially meet during the summer months.
Throughout the 2016-2017 school year, VYC members embraced their mission and accomplished the following:
- Gained an understanding and appreciation of municipal government by meeting monthly with a variety of city leaders, including City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Fire Chief, Police Chief, Gang Unit, Crime Lab Director, K-9 Handler, Municipal Court Judge, Main Street, and others.
- Participated in the City of Valdosta’s first Dumpster Art project that transformed five city trash dumpsters in the downtown area into pieces of public art.
- Partnered with the Lowndes Youth Leadership League for a trip to the state capitol in Atlanta, Georgia, where the youth learned about state government and interacted with state leadership.
- Hosted a Leadership Development Training in January, where VYC members identified leadership traits in themselves, as well as in others.
- Coordinated the 2017 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest.
- Collectively completed more than 112 community service hours—a minimum of 8 hours each.
- Participated in the Valdosta Christmas Tree Lighting, the Azalea Festival, Electronic Recycling event, and other city-sponsored events.
- Produced two Teen Talk shows on Metro 17 to discuss issues being addressed each month at VYC meetings.
Continued a growing presence on the VYC Facebook page for local youth to follow the work of the VYC, to be informed on youth issues, and to discover ways to be engaged in their local government.
- Completed four organized cleanups of their adopted .6 mile portion of N. Lee Street resulting in 24 thirty-gallon bags of trash removed from this city street.
- Culminated their anti-bullying campaign by partnering with John Maxwell Certified Speaker Lynne Brown to host the Valdosta Youth Explosion event in May 2017, held in the Valdosta City Hall Annex during Georgia Cities Week, in which nearly 80 youth representing six local city and county schools were united in their stand against bullying.
- Documented their first and second VYC years’ activities in a hardbound scrapbook that will be passed on each year to the succeeding Council.
View 2015-2016 Council Accomplishments
Code of Conduct
- Be prompt and present at all meetings and dress appropriately.
- Be respectful in the treatment of and the interaction with other people.
- Be mindful of safety issues to ensure that everyone stays safe from harm and injury.
- Be courteous and do not talk on the cell phone during meetings (mute cell phone).
- Be aware of inappropriate behavior and stay out of trouble at home and at school.
2017-2018 Youth Council Members
Juan Angel, 8th grade, VMS
Joseph Butters, 7th grade, Classical Conversations
Ella Dampier, 8th grade, St. John
Emily Dinkins, 7th grade, St. John
Will Gerber, 8th grade, St. John
Daniel Holcombe, 8th grade, St. John
Dalemetrius Huff, 9th grade, VHS
Paris Jackson, 8th grade, J.L. Newbern
Nikerria Jones, 8th grade, J.L. Newbern
Kaightlyn Jowers, 8th grade, VMS
Isabel Kassum, 8th grade, St. John
Erin Kelly, 9th grade, VHS
Cristalynn Lee, 8th grade, J.L. Newbern
Abbi Long, 9th grade, VHS
Sean Manning, 9th grade, VHS
Nevin Miller, 8th grade, St. John
Catriona Moore, 7th grade, St. John
Clancy Claire Perry, 9th grade, Valwood
Zandayja Rollins, 9th grade, VHS
Toni Salami, 8th grade, VMS
Shadasia Solomon, 7th grade, J.L. Newbern
Kiara Thomas, 8th grade, VMS
Zachary Williams, 8th grade, VMS
VYC Advisory Board
The VYC is guided by a VYC Advisory Board appointed by Mayor John Gayle, who serves as the head of the board. The 2017-2018 VYC Advisory Board members are:
- Teresa Bolden, Valdosta City Clerk
- Laurie Wallace, Guidance Counselor, St. John Catholic School
- Sementha Mathews, Valdosta Public Information Officer
- Marcus McConico, Valdosta Channel 17 Coordinator
- James White, Assistant Principal, J.L. Newbern Middle School
For more information, contact City Clerk Teresa Bolden at 229-259-3503 or Public Information Officer Sementha Mathews at 229-259-3548.