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Annual Placer County Youth Commission Achievements

The Placer Board of Supervisors received a report from the Placer County Youth Commission on their activities for the recently completed 2012-13 session.

Youth Comssioners report annually to the Board with a presentation on their activities, accomplishments and efforts for future years. The report, which included a video presentation created by the involved youths, was part of the Board's regularly scheduled meeting this week in Auburn.

The Commission is comprised of 15 primary youth members and three alternates. They work in conjunction with the Board and a county staff advisor. The purpose of the Commission is to integrate the youth voice into local policymaking by researching youth issues and concerns, relating their findings and positions to local policy makers, and engaging the community to create positive change. The Commission engages in activities to help educate and motivate the youth of Placer County to participate in the local political process.
Highlights from the past year's activities include participation in a Youth Summit, a Hip Hop Congress, the World Café, a challenge day and advocating for Social Host Ordinances. The Commission is a voluntary activity and meets twice a month; once in Rocklin and once in Auburn.

Outgoing Commission President Eunice Kim told the Board that in the past year the Commission has focused on connecting Placer County youth, which is a difficult task due to the number of youth and the size of the county. She said that while there are many resources available to local youth, providing awareness of those resources is a challenge. She pointed to numerous activities as examples of the Commission's efforts to spread information about those resources.

"I wanted to thank everyone for providing an absolutely outstanding opportunity for young people," said Board Chairman Jim Holmes, whose aide, Ruth Alves, works diligently with the Commission. "It just makes me feel great to see young people get involved as you do."

The importance and popularity of the Commission continues to grow as there are more than 40 applications for the 18 seats on the 2013-14 session. Returning commissioners told the Board that next year's efforts would include elevating awareness of mental health as it relates to youth and using the networking they've developed to break the stigma associated with that health issue. The Commission will also focus on building additional internships for county youth.

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