Founded in 1969, the Marin County Youth Commission (MCYC) is one of the oldest and most well-regarded youth commissions in the United States. Made up of 23 youth aged 12-23 years, MCYC’s goal is to act as a political voice for young people — particularly those in underserved populations, including youth of color, youth with disabilities, homeless youth, rural youth, and LGBTQ youth — by engaging with the Marin County Board of Supervisors and other policy makers.
Lizbeth Mendieta, 10th grader, Co-Chair of MCYC 20/21
At the beginning of each term, MCYC youth leaders identify issues about which they are passionate and meet with community organizations to learn about ongoing efforts to address these issues. They then organize and implement social justice campaigns, which may look like drafting public policy; engaging other youth through trainings and events; and/or conducting community-wide education.
During the 2021-2022 MCYC term, commissioners focused on the following issues areas:
Mental Health – The mental health subcommittee works to destigmatize and educate Marin youth on issues surrounding mental health. The majority of the year, we focused on creating and hosting our Mental Health Festival. Our event was held on May 7th at the Marin Office of Education. We had an intergenerational panel, a community art activity and workshops. We concluded the event with a vibrant resource fair highlighting 11 organizations/programs. The event was open to high school students and adults of all ages, and was fun and informational.
Thank you to NAMI, Kara Connors (suicide prevention collaborative) and Marin County Office of Education for supporting our event.
Follow us on Social Media! @marinmentalhealth
Education Equity – The education equity subcommittee strives to combat disparities found in our education system, and to empower students by providing equitable access to opportunities and resources. We began the year by reviewing issues that affect fellow students in Marin (such as a lack of access to certain programs), and proceeded by meticulously planning our events for the year. Our accomplishments include:
- Free Financial Literacy Class! (Virtual, Financial Coach from Community Action Marin)
- 2 Free Study Halls with Food and Drinks (At Marin Promise Partnership)
- Free College Night! Featuring 3 senior commissioners and college advisor from San Rafael High School.
Thank you to Marin Promise Partnership for donating your space for our study halls. Thank you to our guest speakers for donating your time!
LGBTQ+ – This subcommittee started this year! The LGBTQ+ subcommittee, strives to make education and resources more inclusive for queer and trans youth, to empower the queer youth of Marin, and to encourage community allyship. We held the following trainings and events:
- 2 movie nights representing LGBTQ+ youth ( 1 virtual, 1 in person)
- 2 trainings emphasizing queerness in mental health (1 at the Mental Health Festival and 1 at Novato Wellness week)
- LGBTQ+ Artists Gallery at the Civic Center Farmers Market
Thank you to Romario Conrado (SPAHR Center), Novato High Wellness Staff and College of Marin Associated Students for supporting our initiatives
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs Prevention (ATOD) –This year, the ATOD subcommittee’s goal was to increase youth access to Narcan and other harm reduction resources in order to prevent overdoses. ATOD continued to work closely with the SPAHR Center specifically around distributing Narcan. We were able to accomplish the following:
- 5 Narcan trainings (Archie Williams, San Domenico faculty and students, MCYC, 2 community-wide)
- 2 Narcan distributions (Mental Health Festival, San Rafael Farmers Market)
Thank you to RXSafe Marin and the SPAHR Center for supporting our work this year!
Follow us on Social Media! @atodmarin
End of Year Forum
In partnership with the Marin County Free Library we held an in-person end of year forum on May 24th at the Civic Center Cafeteria. Interested students, community partners, family and friends were invited to hear about what MCYC accomplished this year. It was great to be supported by the community and to have the commissioners present their work!
Interested in Joining?
Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors in August for 1-year terms. All Marin County residents between the ages of 12-21 years are eligible — ethnically and culturally diverse youth are highly encouraged to apply. Commissioners are expected to attend a 1-day Intro to Social Justice Training, followed by bi-monthly meetings. Occasional events, like the Social Justice Movie Night and Youth Commission Convention, are additional requirements. Tune in for updates on when to apply!