What is the Youth Advisory Council?

What is the Youth Advisory Council?

Founded in 2009, the YAC (Youth Advisory Council) is comprised of high school students from Lower Merion, Harriton, Agnes Irwin, Baldwin, Barrack Academy, Haverford School, Friends Central, Kohelet Yeshiva High School, and Shipley, who come together to improve quality of life for youth in their community. YAC's mission is to establish a relationship between youth and adults to identify problems and develop solutions that benefit all sectors of our community.

YAC Accomplishments 2013-2014

  • In April, The Youth Advisory Council ran a two-day community event held at Suburban Square, dedicated to preventing distracted driving among teenagers.   This event, "Put the Brakes on Distracted Driving" was co-sponsored by StreetSafe Driving Academy and featured student driving awareness videos and distracted driving simulators.  In a recent survey done by the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), it was found that 84% of students who drove at the time they took the survey admitted to driving distracted at least once or twice in the past year This forum was conducted to address these staggering statistics.

YAC Accomplishments 2012-2013

  • Participated in and presented at "Teens Speak:  Expanding Our View of What Success Means Today" by speaking about Drugs and Alcohol use, Peer and Romantic Relationships with teens and Technology, On-line Image and Body Image.  This event enabled the community to see stress and success through the eyes of students.

YAC Accomplishments 2011-2012

  • Presented a panel discussion, "Talking Back," to parents and educators, commenting on risky behaviors raised in a recent survey of 2,200 students on the Main Line.
  • Sponsored a "Battle of the Burbs" student musical competition at Milkboy Coffeehouse in Ardmore.
  • Participated in a program to prepare parents for the "Transition to High School and Middle School."
  • Created a social media campaign to raise awareness of the new Pennsylvania "Good Samaritan" law that grants immunity to a youth who calls 911 to get medical attention for someone affected by alcohol.

YAC Accomplishments 2009-2011

  • Sponsored three "Battle of the Burbs" student musical competitions at Milkboy Coffeehouse.
  • Participated as advisers in a program to prepare parents for the "Transition to High School."
  • Promoted the safe ride home campaign: "Make the Call/Take the Call" in the community and at schools.
  • Served as a focus group to the Ardmore business association about attracting new retail, service and entertainment businesses that would appeal to youth.
  • Responsibilities
    • Engage in an open dialogue with adults who want to improve their understanding of young people.
    • Seek ideas from peers about ways to improve the quality of life for teens on the Main Line.
    • Inform fellow students about YAC activities (through Facebook, assemblies, school paper, etc.)
    • Meet as needed to plan events and activities and follow through with commitments on time.
  • Benefits
    • Help to make the Main Line a more supportive community for young people.
    • Collaborate with students from other schools.
    • An opportunity to put creative ideas into action.
    • Practice in communications and leadership skills.
    • Mentoring by professionals in a variety of fields.
    • Community service experience for college or job applications.

Students are mentored by Coalition members Carl Antisell, Renee Kalander and Stephanie Newberg, M.Ed., M.S.W., L.C.S.W., a psychotherapist and educator.

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