The Dane County Youth Governance Program was created in January of 2012 as an opportunity for the youth of Dane County to make change in the county while developing valuable skills for the future. It was modeled after Kenosha County’s Youth in Governance program, which has been extremely successful and has benefitted the county as well as each of the individual youth representatives. Here is a brief description of the Dane County YGP program: 2017 YGP description.
The purpose of the Dane County Youth Governance Program is to offer greater opportunities for youth leadership, development, and empowerment in Dane County through direct participation in county government decision-making; to provide real-life learning opportunities for youth in the functioning of local government; and to bring a direct youth voice to community issues and concerns while fostering the development of confident, capable, and independent leaders for the next generation.
To achieve these goals, youth serve on County Board Committees for a one year term running from June 1 through May 31. Youth members have a non-binding advisory vote on all County Board standing committees, but will be given the same opportunities for committee participation and involvement as elected county supervisors. There are two youth representatives per standing committee, each with its own purpose, as described in the Standing Committee Summaries. Committees currently include:
- Personnel & Finance (P&F)
- Health & Human Needs (HHN)
- Public Protection & Judiciary (PP&J)
- Public Works & Transportation (PWT)
- Environment, Agriculture, & Natural Resources (EANR)
- Zoning & Land Regulation (ZLR)
For more information regarding the purpose and functions of each of the standing committees, the YGP Handbook provides more in-depth information regarding the program, its history, Dane County, Parliamentary Procedure, youth leadership, and more.
You can read youth evaluations of their 16-17 YGP experience here:
2017 Youth Governance Program Evaluation Report