The El Dorado County Youth Commission is looking for youth to apply to be part of the Youth Commission Board, to participate in our meetings, and most importantly, to take an active role in our community.
The goal of the Youth Commission is to develop and express the opinions, ideas, and visions of the youth in the county. Students on the Commission participate as a youth government allowing an enriching leadership experience. The Commission helps youth fulfill goals that they have for their community. We are always looking for ways to help youth implement projects and ideas that will benefit the community.
Youth Commissioners Host Board of Supervisors and County Superintendent of Schools
The El Dorado County Youth Commission hosted members of the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors and Dr. Ed Manansala, County Superintendent of Schools, on Monday, February 26th at the commissioners’ annual Pasta Dinner. The students shared and gathered feedback on their focus this year, which is on developing Mental Health resources for students. “It is a delight to see these young people in action, working out their vision and passion to benefit others,” said Dr. Manansala. “They are a strong, focused group of leaders, who understand first-hand what their peers are going through.”
The Youth Commission helps identify the needs of El Dorado County youth and communicate those needs to our local representatives. The Board of Supervisors and the El Dorado County Office of Education (EDCOE) co-sponsor the Youth Commission, which operates as a youth government. The students learn about local governance while gaining important leadership skills.
“We have been continuing our work from last year, focusing on improving mental health in the youth of the county,” said Chair Misbah Shafi, a senior at Oak Ridge High School. “It is invaluable to have feedback from the Board of Supervisors and Dr. Manansala.”
Students will take the information and ideas developed at the dinner to improve their project of getting information about mental health resources into the hands of our county’s youth through development of a one-stop website.
“We really appreciate the advice given us,” said Vice-Chair Kaya Renner, senior at Oak Ridge High School. “The ideas will help us develop a strong website that will help the youth of the county.”
Pictured from left to right (from an earlier event this year) are Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian Veerkamp, Mackaela Pedersen, Everet Frame, Edith Rivera, and Chistian Seldon.
Youth Commissioners Join County Supervisors for Annual Shadow Day
On Monday, January 8th, the El Dorado County Youth Commission participated in the annual Shadow Day, in which Youth Commissioners join the County Board of Supervisors during one of the Board’s regularly scheduled meetings. The students gained valuable insight into how local government operates, how the Board manages issues and policies, such as a public forum, appointments by the board for a variety of commissions and committees, and how to run a formal meeting. Youth Commissioners observed the selection of a new chair and reports from several government agencies.
“We are so impressed with the Youth Commissioners and their interest in local governance,” said Chair Michael Ranalli, District IV Supervisor. “We appreciate them coming out to our meeting and being active participants in the decisions that shape our county.”
Each year the County Board of Supervisors works with the County Office of Education to appoint interested high school students from all over the county to the Youth Commission to engage students in local government. Through the program, students gain valuable leadership skills as well as being able to share the perspective of youth regarding local issues.
“I learned a lot about how local government works and how people enact policy,” said Oak Ridge senior Shayan Habibi. “I appreciate even more how our board deals with so many different issues. They have to become experts in a lot of areas.”
The Youth Commission’s mission is to help identify the needs of El Dorado County youth and communicate those needs to their representatives at the local level.
“I hope that students see how local government is one place people can really make a difference,” said Brian Veerkamp, District III Supervisor. “It is one place that being a civil servant can make an impact.”
El Dorado County Youth Commissioners gather after participating with the Board of Supervisors as they begin a new year. (left to right) -student Grace Salvestrin, Supervisor Shiva Frentzen, student Misbah Shafi, Supervisor John Hidahl, student Dane Sheridan, Chair Michael Ranalli, student Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian K. Veerkamp, student Mackaela Pedersen, student Everet Frame, student Edith Rivera, student Christian Selden, and Supervisor Sue Novasel
The Board of Supervisors conducts their meeting with their Youth Commission counterparts observing. (left to right) student Misbah Shafi, Supervisor John Hidahl, student Dane Sheridan, Chair Michael Ranalli, student Shayan Habibi, Supervisor Brian K. Veerkamp, student Mackaela Pedersen
One of the biggest issues I feel that youth face in our community is mixed messages through social media about self-love and beauty. As commissioner, I would help promote how youth could view themselves through positivity and self-images.
I like the "small town" feeling and how you can know a lot of people and know you might bump into someone you know at a social event. I'd like to add new ways of getting younger and older people together in the community.
I love that the community is full of people that genuinely care for each other and help each other out. I appreciate that the community provides all the tools necessary for students to succeed in school no matter their financial background.
The thing I like best about our community is that we live in an environment that is quiet and calm. I'd like to bring in motivational speakers to address some of the challenges the youth face.
I like the peaceful nature of my community. I want to contribute to the community by establishing social activities and educating young people about the responsible use of social media.
One of the biggest issues facing youth is the misuse of social media. I want to approach technology companies and schools to help develop programs focusing on the dangers of social media.
I think the biggest issue facing our youth is mental health. With homework, relationships, sports, jobs, and other activities, teens start to feel like it is too much. I'm here to advocate for those people so they get what they need.
I am honored to have the opportunity to be a voice for my peers and hopefully improve my community. I would like to provide more opportunities for youth and add awareness of what previous generations have done to build El Dorado County.
One thing I'd like to add to our community is the introduction of more sidewalks and bike lanes for travel. It's not easy to get around without driving a carbon emitting vehicle. I'd like to change that.
I would like to create unity and bonding events for the community, youth conferences, and public events to address social and environmental issues. I would like to create these events to create unity within the community as well as show how some issues can affect a person and a community.
I'm excited to provide insight from a teenager's perspective on the issues facing our youth. We need more youth events and better transportation to help our youth get to those events.
My goal is to raise mental health awareness among the youth in our county and promote healthy lifestyles. I want to be able to bring the mental health training to all of the schools of the county, so all of the teachers, students, and staff may have a chance to partake in it.