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Chairman & Mayor's Youth Advisory Council

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A partnership between Winnebago County, City of Rockford, and Winnebago County Health Department

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney and City of Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara are leading a youth leadership development initiative established through a partnership between Winnebago County, City of Rockford, and Winnebago County Health Department known as The Chairman and Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council. The purpose of this interagency youth council is to develop and retain diverse, young leaders throughout the region. Council members are engaged in opportunities to initiate change in their immediate spheres of influence, as well as their local and regional community. 

By investing today in the development of these young leaders, it is our hope that they will experience the reward of engagement by participating in discussion around community issues, taking an active role as community members, and feeling ownership in their community and its future.

Each private and public high school within Winnebago County, is asked to nominate and support the participation of four students per school who meet the following criteria:

  • Sophomore or junior in high school (returning members may be seniors)
  • Ability to participate in at least 70% of council meetings and activities
  • Influential (perhaps under-recognized) leader among peers
  • Minimum GPA of 2.8

While each school has many students who are active achievers, we encourage the nomination of students who are ready to take the next step into a leadership position or perhaps just need a small nudge to help them reach their next level of potential.  We are confident the council will help them grow as students, individuals, and community members. 

As a member of the Council, students should expect to participate in three types of activities.

  1. Advisory Meetings: The Council has interactive, educational sessions focusings on serious community issues such as substance abuse, family violence, public safety, and other public policy matters. The sessions are followed by a discussion with the Mayor and Chairman on the members’ perspectives on the issue presented.
  2. Project Meetings: The Council members are engaged in community projects related to the advisory meeting issues discussed. The Council may also consider projects of their own conception.
  3. Special Events: Students will be invited to serve as volunteers and/or honorees at community meetings and events.

Please direct inquiries and recommendations to Council Facilitator Alyssa Lazzeriniat the Winnebago County Health Department, (815) 720-4191 or

This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Human Services.


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