Lacey-area high schoolers are invited to apply for one of 15 positions on the Lacey Youth Council. It’s a great way to get involved in the community, learn about local government, and connect with like-minded peers. All youth who are part of Lacey public, private, or home school student bodies, and will be at least a sophomore this fall can apply,” says Sadie Siglin, Youth Council Staff Liaison.

The Lacey Youth Council is an advisory body to the Lacey City Council and they get to participate first-hand in government work by providing feedback to the City on a variety of topics. The members serve as advocates for their peers, representing the youth voice as they share experiences, ideas, and concerns from their community.  

A row of high school students posing for a photo with matching sweatshirts on
Lacey high school students provide input and support to city government. The Lacey Youth Council is looking for new members and encourages you to apply. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

Why Serve on the Lacey Youth Council

“Truthfully, I was inspired by my own lack of involvement in extracurricular activities. I saw a poster advertising the Lacey Youth Council while waiting for lunch during my freshman year. I don’t remember the details of the poster, but it got my attention because I was interested in studying government and law. I thought it would be a great way to learn more in a hands-on environment with like-minded people. I have really enjoyed it so far, and I plan on applying for my third term,” notes Zury Ramirez-Plascencia, this year’s Deputy Mayor and junior at North Thurston High.

Lacey Youth Council Clerk, Eliana Allin, a junior at Pope John Paul II High School, is finishing her first term. She heard about the Youth Council through fellow student Nathan Miller who served for two years. “I was immediately drawn to it,” Eliana remembers adding, “It’s been amazing to learn about how city government works.”

A row of high school students posing for a photo with paper chains and a banner that says Lacey Youth Council
The Lacey Youth Council is an advisory group for city leadership on important issues regarding our youth. Local high schoolers grow professional skills and have a meaningful time learning together. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

What to Expect as a Youth Councilmember

Once the Youth Council is selected, the members will attend a fun and engaging orientation. Next, they elect a Youth Mayor, Deputy Mayor, and Clerk amongst themselves. Councilmembers also have the opportunity to serve as Youth Representatives on other Advisory Boards including the Commission on Equity, and Parks, Culture, and Recreation Board.

The Youth Council meets twice monthly during the school year to learn about their local government, and conduct business. It’s also an opportunity for councilmembers to connect with students from other schools and learn more about their peers and community. Youth councilmembers report to the Lacey City Council once a month, providing updates from their schools, and their Lacey Youth Council meetings and activities.

In addition, the Lacey Youth Council has the opportunity to work on special projects and participate in events such as:

• Working with the Lacey City Council during a joint worksession

• Collaborating with the Commission on Equity during a joint worksession

• Engaging with the community at the Lacey Spring Fun Fair

• Hosting the Lacey Youth Summit and Resource Fair

This year, youth councilmembers also had the opportunity to tour the Thurston County Ballot Processing Center, and visit the Joint Animal Services facility to learn more about the role government plays in animal welfare.

The Councilmembers can earn community service hours or have the option to opt-in to the advisory board stipend program, which allows advisory board members to receive $50 per regular meeting, up to $500 a year.

A row of high school students posing for a photo with matching sweatshirts on and all holding drawstring bags, some red, some blue
The Lacey Youth Council visited the Ballot Center to find it was bigger and more complex than expected. The group is active in the government of the City of Lacey. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

Apply for the Lacey Youth Council

“The Youth Council brings a huge value to the city,” says Sadie. They are treated the same as other city advisory boards and commissions with respect to the city seeking and receiving feedback. “They have direct access to city staff and council members that most youth don’t have,” she explains. “We get good feedback about the youths’ participation. They have great things to say. It’s exciting to provide this platform.”

Eliana has a few words for prospective applicants. “Speak from the heart. Don’t be afraid of the challenge. Once you get in, you won’t feel out of your depth. You can enjoy the experience.” What an opportunity to learn ways to use your voice and convey your opinions in government.

The online application for the 2024-2025 Lacey Youth Council term is available now. The deadline to apply is June 30.

“No matter who you are, there is something to take away from this experience. I would greatly recommend applying,” suggests Zury. Applications are open until June 30 for the 2024-2025 Youth Council Term. Apply today.


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