Commissioners were appointed to a one-year term and may be reappointed for one additional one-year term. In addition, three youth representing each of the five supervisorial districts were selected to reflect the county’s diversity.
“Yolo County recognizes that our youth’s voice matters in order to build a stronger and healthier community,” said Yolo County Board of Supervisors Chair, Supervisor Angel Barajas. “Representatives serving on the Yolo Youth Commission will provide meaningful insight on community and educational issues that will positively shape our county.”
Applicants were nominated, referred, or self-applied and went through a rigorous interview and selection process to receive an appointment. In all, 87 youth applied to serve on the youth commission, with over half of the applications coming from the fourth supervisorial district in Davis, which Supervisor Jim Provenza represents. Of the 87 applicants, 38 spoke more than one language, including Spanish, Punjabi, Urdu, Mandarin and American Sign Language.
Areas of indication for each youth were made regarding: languages spoken other than English, involvement in leadership opportunities, responses of involvement for the betterment of others, and those who were nominated by adult allies.
“The selection process was a lot,” said Drucella Miranda, program supervisor. “I just want to be very intentional about my language because it was a selection process, not a screening process because I do believe every single young person has incredible potentional to grow and lead in a multitude of ways if selected. I don’t think that there is a wrong group of young people to nourish as leaders.”
To be eligible for the commission, youth were required to be between the ages of 13 and 18 and reside in Yolo County. The selected commissioners span from the seventh grade to the 12th grade.
The 15 members appointed to the Yolo Youth Commission are:
- Angel M., a seventh-grade student at Esparto Middle School in Esparto
- Chloe P., a 10th-grade student at Davis Senior High School in Davis
- Edelsy B., a ninth-grade student at Woodland High School in Woodland
- Emilio R., a 12th-grade student at Cache Creek High School in Yolo
- Hope C., a 10th-grade student at River City High School in West Sacramento
- Isabelle C., a ninth-grade student at Da Vinci Charter Academy in Davis
- Jazmin G., a ninth-grade student at Harper Junior High School in Davis
- Jennifer M., a 10th-grade student at Da Vinci Charter Academy in Davis
- Jesse V., an 11th-grade student at Davis Senior High School in Davis
- Lotus T., an 11th-grade student at Yolo Education Center in West Sacramento
- Miles M., a 10th-grade student at Winters High School in Winters
- Olivia B., a 10th-grade student at River City High School in West Sacramento
- Rabia R., a 10th-grade student at Pioneer High School in Woodland
- Riya V., an eighth-grade student at Harper Junior High School in Davis
- Zainab W., a 10th-grade student at Davis Senior High School in Davis
“Yolo is a very large and rural county,” Miranda said. “We definitely wanted to make space for young people living in unincorporated communities, those with unstable housing, those with a migrant background, those from a family of low socio-economic status, those who are not college bound and really having a diverse range of ages.”
The Yolo Youth Commission plans to begin meeting twice monthly starting in January 2023.
Commissioners will discuss community issues to better understand the needs of youth and teens in Yolo County.
In addition to bi-monthly meetings, youth will also receive leadership training and developmental opportunities to support them in their role as community representatives. There is no cost for the youth to participate in the commission.
The Yolo Youth Commission is a partnership between the Yolo County Office of Education, Yolo County and the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center in Oakland.
In May, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to establish the youth commission as a two-year pilot program and authorized YCOE to administer the program. The pilot is funded by county cannabis tax revenue with additional grant funding from the Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center.
Once formed, a key function of the youth commission will be conducting an annual review of grant proposals to youth-centered efforts or youth organizations serving Yolo County. A total of $160,000 per year will be available for youth-centered grants during the two-year pilot.
The Yolo Youth Commission invites members of the community to follow future commission activities on Facebook at www.facebook.com/YoloYouthCom or Instagram at www.instagram.com/yolo_youthcom.
The Yolo County Office of Education provides leadership, support and fiscal oversight for the Davis, Esparto, Washington, Winters and Woodland school districts, which serve approximately 30,000 students. The voters of Yolo County elect Yolo County Superintendent of Schools Garth Lewis.
“This 15-member group will touch the lives of many other youth throughout the county,” Supervisor Don Saylor said. “These kids will be taking action as we’ve empowered them to and Drucella and her team will prepare them to make the best use of this time.”