What is the Youth Advisory Council?

What is the Youth Advisory Council?

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) was comprised of high school students from Lower Merion, Harriton, Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Barrack Academy, The Haverford School, Friends Central, Kohelet Yeshiva High School, and Shipley, who came together to improve the quality of life for youth in their community. YAC's mission was to establish a relationship between youth and adults to identify problems and develop solutions that benefit all sectors of our community.

Accomplishments of the Youth Advisory Council

  • Ran a two-day community event held at Suburban Square, dedicated to preventing distracted driving among teenagers. This event, "Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving" was co-sponsored by StreetSafe Driving Academy and featured student driving awareness videos and distracted driving simulators.  In a survey done by the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), it was found that 84% of students who drove at the time they took the survey admitted to driving distracted at least once or twice in the past yearThis forum was conducted to address these staggering statistics. 
  • Participated in and presented at "Teens Speak:  Expanding Our View of What Success Means Today" by speaking about Drugs and Alcohol use, Peer and Romantic Relationships with teens and Technology, On-line Image and Body Image.  This event enabled community members to see stress and success through the eyes of students.
  • Presented a panel discussion, "Talking Back," to parents and educators, commenting on risky behaviors raised in a survey of 2,200 students on the Main Line. 
  • Participated in a program to prepare parents for the "Transition to High School and Middle School."
  • Created a social media campaign to raise awareness of the Pennsylvania "Good Samaritan" law that grants immunity to a youth who calls 911 to get medical attention for someone affected by alcohol.
  • Sponsored several "Battle of the Burbs" student musical competitions.
  • Participated as advisers in a program to prepare parents for the "Transition to High School."
  • Promoted the safe ride home campaign: "Make the Call/Take the Call" in the community and at schools.
  • Served as a focus group to the Ardmore business association about attracting new retail, service and entertainment businesses that would appeal to youth.

Responsibilities

  • Engage in an open dialogue with adults who want to improve their understanding of young people.
  • Seek ideas from peers about ways to improve the quality of life for teens in our community.
  • Inform fellow students about YAC activities through social media, school paper, etc.
  • Meet as needed to plan events and activities and follow through with commitments on time.

Benefits

  • Help to make our area a more supportive community for young people.
  • Collaborate with students from other schools.
  • An opportunity to put creative ideas into action.
  • Practice in communications and leadership skills.
  • Mentoring by professionals in a variety of fields.
  • Community service experience for college or job applications.

During its tenure, students were mentored by then Coalition members Carl Antisell, of Mindind Your Mind, our current president, Renee Kalander and Stephanie Newberg, a psychotherapist and educator.

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