LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts, along with members of the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council (GYAC), announced they are seeking new members for the council.
“The young Nebraskans on this council will be some of the future leaders who will help grow Nebraska in the years to come,” said Governor Ricketts. “The Governor’s Youth Advisory Council helps prepare them to take on leadership roles. It is one way we are encouraging more young people to get involved in their communities.”
Members meet quarterly to discuss issues impacting youth, review pending legislation, learn about politics, and share this information with their individual communities. Additionally, the council represents young people with diverse economic, cultural, geographic, and familial backgrounds in discussions about important issues. This is done through biannual meetings with the Governor and an annual luncheon with State Senators during the legislative session. They provide input on topics including education, health, foster care, and economic development among others.
“Being on the Governor’s Youth Advisory Council was a great opportunity to meet with students from all across Nebraska, get exposed to different ideas, and to share my own,” GYAC member Audrey Worthing said. “Learning about some of the initiatives important to the Governor and being able to provide input to him and his team was an honor. You are never too young to have a positive voice and make a difference in the world around you, and the GYAC is a great vehicle for that.”
In the past year, the council has learned about the juvenile justice system, met with state senators and mayors, and presented to the Governor about issues such as the high cost of college education and the importance of mental health training for educators.
Created in 1993, the GYAC provides an opportunity for young people ages 14-19 to explore the legislative process, the role of the executive branch, and encourage their peers to be more civically involved. This council discusses with the governor the issues impacting Nebraska’s young people. Up to 25 youth can serve on the council. The council is facilitated by Nebraska Children and Families Foundations.
Current members of the council are Robert Badura, Omaha; Ina Bhoopalam, Lincoln; Danie Brandl, Humphrey; Tessa Eldridge, Lexington; Josie Medill, Roca; Vijay Menon, Omaha; Benjamin Moritz, Hastings; Tessa Petersen, Papillion; Yanira Rodriguez, North Platte; Elise Roselius, Lincoln; Dominic Smith, DeWitt; Trishna Srikumar, Omaha; Paxton Terry, McCook; Matthew Wachtel, Carleton; Jennifer Wang, Lincoln; Audrey Worthing, Ogallala; Felicia Xiong, Omaha.
Applications are available on the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation website at www.projecteverlast.org/councils/gyac.html or by calling 402-817-2003.