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Chairman & Mayor's Youth Leadership Council

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

Applications will be available June 17, 2019.

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney and City of Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara have established 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 Leadership 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.

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

  • Sophomores or juniors in high school (returning members may be seniors)
  • Willing to complete 10 hours of community service during the school year
  • Interested in learning more about leadership, public policy, community health, and local government
  • Able to attend and participate in at least 80% of monthly Youth Leadership Council meetings
  • Self-starters with the potential to develop into a future leader of our community 

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 the following types of activities.

  1. Advisory Meetings: The Council has interactive, educational sessions focusing 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 will engage in community projects related to the advisory meeting issues discussed. The Council may also consider projects of their own conception.
  3. Special Events: Members will be invited to serve as volunteers and/or honorees at community meetings and events.
  4. Community Service: In addition to projects and events, members will represent the Council as a volunteer as part of programs or activities that benefit the community. 

Please direct inquiries and recommendations to Council Facilitators Erich Von Gillern (815) 720-4346 or Katie Kelly (815) 720-4191  at the Winnebago County Health Department.

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


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