Purpose and Goal
The Dane County Youth Governance Program offers greater opportunities for youth leadership development and youth empowerment in Dane County through direct participation in county government decision-making; provides real-life learning opportunities for youth in the functioning of local government; and brings a direct youth voice to community issues and concerns while fostering the development of confident, capable and independent leaders for the next generation.
Each youth representative is appointed to a Dane County Board committee for a one year term from September through May, and is matched with a supervisor-mentor on their committee. YGP mentors closely assist youth in learning about and contributing to the governance process. YGP youth have the same opportunities for committee participation and involvement as elected county supervisors, except that they have a non-binding advisory vote. Youth representatives may be appointed to the following committees*†:
- Environment, Agriculture, & Natural Resources (EANR)
- 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 5:00pm or 5:30pm, at Fen Oak°
- Food Council (DCFC)
- 4th Wednesdays, 6:00pm, at Fen Oak°
- Health & Human Needs (HHN)
- 2nd & 4th Thursdays, 5:30pm, at CCB°
- Park Commission
- 2nd & 4th Wednesdays, 5:30pm, at Fen Oak°
- Personnel & Finance (P&F)
- 2nd & 4th Mondays, 5:30pm, at CCB°
- Public Protection & Judiciary (PP&J)
- 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 5:15pm, at CCB°
- Public Works & Transportation (PWT)
- 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 5:30pm, at AEC°
- UW-Extension Committee
- *Currently 2nd Tuesdays, 8:15am, at Fen Oak° – meeting time could be shifted.
- Zoning & Land Regulation (ZLR)
- 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 6:30pm, at CCB°
*Meeting dates may change. †Mileage reimbursement is available.
In addition to committee meetings, youth representatives will attend bimonthly YGP education meetings, which provide a space to connect with other youth representatives; deepen learning; and grow youth leadership, civic engagement, and other important professional skills.
- Strive to attend all regularly-scheduled committee meetings (~11-15 per term). Must attend at least 75% of regularly-scheduled committee meetings (at least 3 out of every 4 meetings).
- If a meeting will be missed, notify mentor, committee chair, & YGP facilitator. No more than 3 absences without notice.
- Stay up to date on committee business and read necessary material in advance in order to stay engaged in committee meetings
- Strive to attend at least 4 YGP education meetings
- Total time commitment is about 6-8 hours per month.
- At the end of the one-year term, each youth representative will give a brief presentation to county board supervisors about their YGP experience. Youth may also apply to serve in a 2nd term.
For a printer-friendly version of this information, download the 2021-22 YGP Description. For more information, the 2020-2021 YGP Handbook provides further details regarding the program, its history, Dane County, Parliamentary Procedure, youth leadership, and more.
You can read youth evaluations of their 2018-2019 YGP experience here: 2019 Youth Governance Program Evaluation Report.
°Committee meeting location addresses:
CCB (City-County Building): 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Madison, 53703
Fen Oak (Lyman Anderson Center): 5201 Fen Oak Dr, Madison, 53718
AEC (Alliant Energy Center): 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison, 53713