What is a YAC?

A youth advocacy council or a youth advisory council (YAC) as a coalition of young adults that works within an organizational body to suggest, endorse, and advocate for policy relevant to youth. Members are commonly between the ages of thirteen (13) and twenty-one (21), with one member elected as the Council Chair.

YACs are particularly prominent within numerous legislative bodies of local and state government. YACs are currently authorized in over nine (9) State Legislatures across the United States, with reported or otherwise unconfirmed instances of now-defunct YACs at least four (4) other states.

Numerous state legislatures across the United States, including Indiana, Washington, Louisiana, and Maryland, currently operate a YAC as of December 2018.

Using “Building Effective Youth Councils” As A Guide

Building Effective Youth Councils: A Practical Guide to Engaging Youth in Policy Making is a publication from the Forum for Youth Investment (FYI), published in collaboration with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National League of Cities (NLC). Although it was first published in July 2007, the document’s material is still relevant today; the document provides rationale for youth engagement in government, key points that facilitate effective YACs (referred to as youth councils in this publication), and resources for existing YACs. The YAC Project is unaffiliated with “Building Effective Youth Councils.”, but it does suggest reading over the document as a helpful guide for understanding more about what exactly a YAC is.

How to establish a YAC within your State Legislature

The YAC Project plans to offer support as necessary for the establishment of future state-level legislative YACs, beginning with legislatures in the northeast corridor and eventually expanding to other areas of the country.

Contact yacproject.org

he YAC Project is a non-partisan initiative that provides resources for youth advocacy councils (YACs) across the United States. For questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact the main coordinator of The YAC Project, at admedina@college.harvard.edu. Offerings of support are welcomed as well!