The San Mateo County Youth Commission gets it done! From the environment and immigration, to digital privacy and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, 25 youth commissioners between the ages 14-21 addressed the critical issues affecting our communities. With special assistance from Supervisor Carole Groom’s office and the San Mateo County Health System, we worked to bridge the gap between youth and adult perspectives.
In 2016-2017, the youth organized into 5 committees to design and implement projects that aligned with youth commission priorities. These included:
- Bee the Change, led by the Environmental Protection Committee drew 80 community members to Edgewood Park to learn about the importance of honey bee conservation in the county and how youth and adults can get involved. The event was put on in partnership with the Parks Department, the Parks Commission, San Mateo Bee Keepers Guild, and the Friends of Edgewood Park, among others, building stronger relationships between local environmental agencies and youth.
- The Immigrant Youth Committee developed a research paper on the changing state of sanctuary cities and counties across the country in order to shed light on how this status might affect San Mateo County. We also awarded the Passion, Dedication, & Determination Immigrant Youth Scholarship to two youth to pursue their dreams of a better future, which included $500 gift or laptop.
- The Teen Stress and Happiness Committee’s community forum, “Forms of Abuse”, explored the different ways that sexual assault, human trafficking, and rape culture manifest in San Mateo County and what can be done to combat them.
- Infographics on the 2016 Presidential Candidates and the cabinet selections of President Trump, were developed and disseminated via social mediaby the Legislative Committee. We wrote a letter of support for Rise Up, a group of San Mateo County Community College District students, who were asking the School Board to ensure protections for all students. The School Board adopted a number of Rise Up’s demands. We also researched the California Assembly Bill 165, and wrote a letter to the San Mateo Board of Supervisors asking them to consider the importance of digital privacy on students and administrators in San Mateo County.
- The Adolescent Needs Committee produced a video on the dangers of marijuana edibles and of driving under the influence of drugs. We also created an infographic on applying for FAFSA student aid and wrote a letter of support to the Coastside Youth Council for their efforts in Half Moon Bay to reduce the amount of alcohol signage in storefronts.
We are thrilled to announce that the Youth Commission has just selected 10 new members for the 2017-2018 term, and are looking forward to building on the momentum toward positive change in our county!
Many thanks to the San Mateo County Health System, which generously supports the San Mateo County Youth Commission.