[May 2019 Announcement] Are you a a former or current state-level YAC member? The YAC Project is looking for students interested in participating in the National Student Coalition!

About The YAC Project

The YAC Project is a non-partisan initiative that provides resources for youth advocacy councils (YACs) across the United States.

What is a YAC?

The YAC Project defines 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. According to The YAC Project, YACs are currently authorized in over ten (10) State Legislatures across the United States, with reported or otherwise unconfirmed instances of now-defunct YACs at least three (3) other states.

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

Resources for YACs

Prospective or current YAC members and leaders may choose to consult the following publications for guidance as they operate their local- or state- level YAC. In the future, the YAC Project aims to conduct interviews, surveys, and develop additional resource material in order to promote civic engagement with YAC bodies across the United States.

  • Building Effective Youth Councils: A Practical Guide to Engaging Youth in Policy Making. Published by the Forum for Youth Investment (FYI), in collaboration with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National League of Cities (NLC). July 2007
    • Authorized by numerous national organizations, this publication 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.
  • Creating and Sustaining a Thriving Youth Advisory Council. Michigan Department of Community Health. September 2014
    • This publication provides an insight to the approach that the Michigan health community took to ensure youth voice and input in their community.
  • Eight Successful Youth Engagement Approaches. Office of Adolescent Health, United States Department of Health and Human Services. March 2018.
    • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recognizes youth councils (YACs) as a successful method of youth engagement.

The National Student Coalition

The YAC Project is currently organizing a National Student Coalition composed of students across the country with experience in state-level legislature. The first “pilot” meeting was held virtually in May 2019, with a second one planned for late June. These “pilot” meetings will eventually transition towards official meetings during the 2019-20 academic year, following the successful adoption of organizational bylaws.

Invitations are currently rolling through various means of social media by current coordinators, although you may also self-nominate yourself by contacting The YAC Project directly.

Contact The YAC Project

Follow The YAC Project on Twitter using the handle @yacproject.

For questions, concerns, or suggestions, please contact Aldo Medina, the main coordinator of The YAC Project, at admedina@iu.edu. Offerings of support are welcomed as well!