For the past two years, I have been fortunate to be part of the Youth in Government program, which affords local high school students the opportunity to play an active role in discussions and decisions at City Council. As a mentor, we are paired with local students to work with and show them how government and the decision making process at the committee level works and how it impacts communities. The youth are treated just as the local officials are by receiving all meeting materials, having a voice in the discussion, and having the opportunity to have the first vote on topic matters. This program is of great benefit to the committee and process because it provides the local elected officials with a perspective that they may not have considered. It also gives us the opportunity to hopefully spark future involvement in local government, whether it be as a career or as an elected official. For the youth, it allows them to have a voice on the decisions that impact them now and in the future, to speak up for what they believe in, and can help with their public speaking skills. We are so fortunate to have this program!