During the weekend of July 25-27, 2019, youth commissioners Jack Minigutti and Fernanda Aguero had the privilege of representing Dallas at the first annual Mayors National Youth Summit. Youth leaders from across the country gathered in Los Angeles for a conference completely tailored to the development of youth councils nationwide.
On the first night, participants meet up at Lucky Strike to meet those attending the conference. This beginning allowed for the easy flow of conversation, making everyone feel as if they were talking to old friends. Here, mayors from cities ranging from Oregon to California announced their excitement for the conference. They saw it as a way to engage the younger generations of their cities to be more involved in local programs and even found their own future councils.
The two following days were followed with a large conference where speakers such as David Hogg and Eric Garcetti led panels with youth leaders from across the United States. These conversations allowed the 100+ students present to learn how other cities successfully created programs that engaged the youth of their cities. Representatives from Boston, Massachusetts spoke about their youth council, representatives from Gresham, Oregon talked about their youth engagement, and representatives from Los Angeles informed us about their youth taskforce. Although every city approached their programs differently, they all looked to serve the same purpose: involve future generations.
Through the various panels and conversations, Jack and Fernanda were able to contribute with the progress that the Dallas Youth Commission had made. They were able to help cities that were looking to create their own council by informing them about the programs and initiatives which YOCO has initiated. Through feedback from other youth leaders, the Dallas Youth Commission will greatly benefit from the ideas and help which made the conference so great. The Mayors National Youth Conference created an amazing environment which will greatly influence youth involvement across the states.