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.
Registration for 2017-2018 Underway
Download and complete the application below to apply for the 2017-2018 Valdosta Youth Council.
2017-2018 Valdosta Youth Council Application
Valdosta Youth Council ByLaws
Meetings are held once 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. The 2016-2017 Meeting Dates will be posted here soon.
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 ahardboundd 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.
2016-2017 Youth Council Members
- Margaret “Amelia” Barnett, 9th Grade, VHS
- Jaida Brown, 8th Grade, VMS
- James “Drew” Correll, 9th Grade, VHS
- Will Gerber, 7th Grade, St. John
- Rachael Goss, 8th Grade, St. John
- Matthew Hall, 9th Grade, HCA
- Jalith Harding, 8th Grade, JL Newbern
- Dalemetrius Huff, 8th Grade, JL Newbern
- Kaightlyn Jowers, 7th Grade, VMS
- Erin Kelly, 8th Grade, St. John
- Clara “Abbi” Long, 8th Grade, VMS
- Sean Manning, 8th Grade, St. John
- Clancy Claire Perry, 8th Grade, St. John
- Zandayja Rollins, 8th Grade, JL Newbern
- Toni Salami, 7th 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 2016-2017 VYC Advisory Board members are:
- Teresa Bolden, Valdosta City Clerk
- John Davis, Prinicipal, St. John Catholic School
- Sementha Mathews, Valdosta Public Information Officer
- Marcus McConico, Valdosta Channel 17 Coordinator
- Alvin Payton, Jr., Valdosta Mayor Pro Tem & District 4 Councilman
- Lynn Orenstein, Educator, Valdosta Middle School
- 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.