“Many young people do not realize the profound effect they can have on their city,” Dallas Youth Commission Chairman Zander Feinstein told Dallas Express. “Working on the Youth Commission has shown me the necessity for there to be a youth voice in city government. The youth commission’s goal is for students to leave our events with the drive to lead in their own communities. If we all chip in, greatness will follow.”
The Youth Commission‘s 15-member board brings together students from local high schools to work with the city on a variety of projects. Those include youth forums, crime prevention programs, a youth resource guide, community service events and a smoking ordinance.
“Through the various summits put together by our commission, I have had the opportunity to hear hundreds of different perspectives about different issues facing our city from a highly diverse group of students,” Feinstein said. “While I may not agree with each person’s opinion, I saw first-hand that each teenager that I spoke to wanted our city to be safer, and a healthy place for themselves and for their family and friends to grow. Once coming to this conclusion, I and many others saw the importance of uniting together to better our city.”
For youth organizations in Dallas, there is financial assistance available to support their programs in exchange for a completing a Youth Commission-planned community service program, through the Teens for Dallas grant program. Applications are taken throughout the year.
“The Teens for Dallas community service grant initiative is targeted to help students across the city receive necessary contributions of support for their organization in exchange for completing community service projects in Dallas,” Feinstein said. “Organizations can apply for up to $1000. This grant achieves two fundamental goals of the commission. The first being to help youth organizations across the city and second to help youth create change by finding needed service opportunities near them in their communities. We are hoping that this grant will connect us with many new youth leaders and look forward to all that will come from these service projects and collaboration with youth organizations.”