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    Santa Barbara Youth Council Awarded Grant to Connect Local Teens and City Leaders

    The Fund for Santa Barbara (The FUND) has announced Santa Barbara Youth Council as one of seven organizations to receive the South County Youth Making Change Grant, a grant awarded annually to support youth-led projects impacting young people in Santa Barbara County. Santa Barbara Youth Council, a City of Santa Barbara advisory committee created to give local teens a voice in local government, will use the awarded funding to host the 2023 Youth Speak Out, a question-and-answer forum between youth and local leaders.

    The event aims to cover youth-focused topics and ensure local teens can lend their voices to conversations happening within City government.  “We want to use our platform as a city advisory group to bring together the youth of our community and our local government representatives to build long-lasting relationships and foster productive dialogue,” said Youth Council Vice-Chair Kavya Suresh.

    Youth Council hopes the 2023 Youth Speak Out can be a starting place for local youth to get and stay engaged in politics. “We hope this event serves as a precedent for a future in which youth have opportunities to participate in their government and to have their voices amplified by important leaders in our community,” said Tiago Eckstein, Youth Council Treasurer.

    With grant funding now secured, Youth Councilmembers are working to solidify details for the 2023 Youth Speak Out. A full announcement, including event topics and panelists, will be released in March 2023. For up-to-date information about the event and other Youth Council activities, follow @SantaBarbaraYouthCouncil on Instagram.

    About Santa Barbara Youth Council

    Established in 1994, the Santa Barbara Youth Council is an advisory committee facilitated by the Parks and Recreation Department to give teens in the Santa Barbara area a voice in local government. The fifteen members of the Youth Council are aged 13 to 19. Each serves a two-year term, advancing youth issues while gaining valuable experience giving back to the community and participating in the public process.

    In addition to organizing educational and community-minded events, the Youth Council encourages collaboration among the many local agencies and organizations with youth-oriented missions, promotes youth participation and interest in local issues, and can make recommendations to the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Santa Barbara City Council on issues and policies affecting local youth and teens.

    Visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/YouthCouncil for more information.

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