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GRAND FORKS YOUTH COMMISSION
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - - 11:30 a.m. - - Council Chambers
Minutes

Youth Commission (schools represented):
Schroeder, South, Valley, Central, Community, Red River

Welcome/Introductions/Icebreaker/Photo

Pete welcomed those in attendance and asked that they each introduce themself. The group participated in some icebreakers and took a group photo.

GFYC History and Mission

Pete provided a brief history of the Youth Commission and returning members shared their experiences from past years. Past projects have included youth dances of which middle school was successful but high school was not, texting and driving education activities, an exhibit created by members for Christmas in the Park, and a community celebration held last winter in Lincoln Park to celebrate the receipt of the 100 Best Communities for Young People designation.

GFYC and YORS

Mr. Dutot reviewed the flow for information. He highlighted that this can be different at each school, but that administration and the adult contact at the school must be kept informed and sign off on all activities conducted within the individual schools. Students shared ideas on ways to get involvement from fellow students at their schools.

Pete stated that the youth voice on community issues is important and valuable. He shared examples of how youth provided input on Riverside Pool, Library, and Wellness Center. He reminded students that they are the voice of their schools and should be asking their peers for concerns and opinions within their school. Several students shared ways they have done this in past years. Students were reminded to use the project request form for permission prior to starting activities within their schools.

Leadership Structure

The group has been led by a CORE leadership team in the past and that structure has seemed to work well.

Safer Tomorrows Advisory Role & Other Roles

Mary Lien from Grand Forks Schools explained that the Safer Tomorrows Grant is a $2 million grant that was received by Grand Forks. We are one of only 4 groups in the nation to receive this grant from the U.S. Attorney General. Other groups that received grants were Boston, MA, Portland, ME, and a SD Indian Reservation. She explained that as part of the application process a team from Washington D.C. visited Grand Forks and as part of their visit came to a Youth Commission meeting and were very impressed with the group. The Youth Commission has been asked to play an advisory role from the youth perspective for the grant.

100 Best Communities for Young People

Pete explained that the City of Grand Forks was recently designated one of the 100 Best Communities for Young People in the U.S. This is the 5th time that the awards have been given and Grand Forks has won the designation all 5 times. He shared information on the 7 Promises that are the core of the America’s Promise Organization which evaluates applicants and makes the designations. This round there were 350 communities that applied. As a result of our designation, there is a monetary amount of about $1,000 which is available to use for promoting the award within the community. This will be discussed at a future meeting, but commissioners should be thinking of ideas for ways to use the money to celebrate the award. Pete showed the award and shared that it is available if anyone wants to use it for promotion at one of their events.

YORS Ideas

The group discussed potential project ideas for this year. Suggestions for issues were: cyberbullying, having more meetings, racism, Facebook page, underage alcohol/tobacco/drug use, seatbelts, how to educate about the Youth Commission, and school hours. Following discussion and a vote the topic selected to be the first focus was Cyberbullying, followed by underage alcohol/tobacco/drug use, and then educating about the Youth Commission/YORS. Students should gather information and ideas about how they would like to address the key topic this year and bring those to the next meeting. Both Pete and Mr. Dutot encouraged students that there is also the possibility that some of the other items may be things that could be worked on through YORS in individual schools, or perhaps as time allows during the Youth Commission meetings.

Adjourn

Meeting adjourned at 1:00.

Sherie Lundmark
Admin Spec Sr


Future Youth Commission meetings: December 14, January 19, February 16, March 16, April 20, May 18