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Valdosta Youth Council

The Valdosta Youth Council (VYC), initiated by Mayor John Gayle in 2015, is seeking applicants for its sixth program year.


The VYC seeks to inspire local 7th, 8th, and 9th  grade students to build leadership and civic responsibility, to gain a better understanding of municipal government, and to prepare youth for a lifetime of public and community service.


In order to participate in the VYC, students must be enrolled in a public or private middle school located within the Valdosta or Lowndes County and must have a minimum 2.5 grade point average. Educators in these schools will nominate students for the 2019-2020 VYC program year. Once selected, the youth must commit to attend the scheduled monthly meetings and complete a minimum of eight community service hours.


“We want to engage these students in their local government before they reach high school and give them opportunities to grow as leaders in our community,” said Mayor Gayle. “This youth-run council, guided by an Advisory Board of local educators and city staff, have made significant accomplishments in their first year, and I’m confident they will continue to have a true impact in our community.”


The members of the VYC 2018-2019 certainly did make an impact, embracing their mission and achieving a variety of accomplishments, including the following:


  • Oversaw the 2019 “If I Were Mayor” Essay Contest.
  • Collectively completed more than 112 community service hours.
  • Established a VYC Facebook page for localyouthto follow the work of the VYC, to be informed on youth issues, and to discover ways to be engaged in their local government.
  • Traveled to Moultrie to visit the Sunbelt Ag-Expo. Students learned about local farms and how crops are harvested. 
  • Hosted a Leadership Development Training in January 2019 where VYC members identified leadership traits in themselves, as well as in others.
  • Adopted a street for monthly cleanups.
  • Established their positiveyouthpresence on Metro 17 and in the community.


VYC 2019-2020 applications may be completed online, obtained from school principals and counselors, or a copy may be downloaded from the city’s website here.

The application deadline is Friday, Aug. 23.


For more information, contact City Clerk Teresa Bolden at 229-259-3503, Email – or contact Public Information Officer Ashlyn Becton at 229-259-3548 or at