Snellville Youth Commission- A living experiment, a critical investment

The City of Snellville has created an exciting new commission that will have a far-reaching effect. The Snellville Youth Commission was founded by CouncilWoman Cristy Lenski and Eric Van Otteren will serve as its director..

Cristy was kind enough to share with me the Mission statement and directives for the program and also included a couple of pictures of some of the applicants during their interviews for appointment to the first Youth Commission in our community. I am just thrilled that the youth of our community have such a desire to be involved and take their responsibilities serious. Here is the Mission, directives and outline of the new Snellville Youth Commission.


As a world class governmental youth leadership organization, the Snellville Youth Commission seeks to prepare youth for a lifetime of public and community service regardless of the youth’s present or future career aspirations.


  • Cultivate future leaders and instill a leadership mindset in young adults.
  • Develop a cadre of young adults who enhance and contribute to the growth of our Snellville community.
  • Foster student ambassadors while creating a legacy of community service.


  • To provide young adults with a vehicle to learn about government and to participate in the process.
  • To provide young adults with opportunities to represent and articulate the needs of youth in the greater Snellville community.
  • To provide Mayor and Council with a Youth Advisory Board.
  • To acquaint young adults with important community issues and challenges.
  • To provide opportunities for young adults to interact with business and civic leaders.
  • To provide opportunities for student leaders to synthesize personal example, theoretical instruction, and practical application through civic engagement and youth initiatives.
  • SYC


  1. Understanding City Government

Youth Commissioners learn the role that government, particularly City government, plays in this community. Youth Commissioners meet and develop connections with Mayor and Council, City Officials, and City Department Heads.

  1. Understanding Community Issues

Youth Commissioners visit local non-profit and community service organizations to see first-hand the issues in the Snellville community. They participate in forums and round-table discussions with service providers about the needs and concerns of this community.

  1. Understanding Effective Communication

Youth Commissioners learn about the communication process as well as the results of effective and ineffective communication.

  1. Understanding and Exercising Leadership

Youth Commissioners discuss and practice characteristics of good leadership while exercising their skills through their continued participation. They sit in on City Council meetings and respond to issues that affect youth. Their input is often sought out by Mayor and Council.

  1. Appreciating Differences

Youth Commissioners are taught to value differences between people. Open and honest dialogue about differences and similarities is encouraged. Stereotypes are explored and frankly discussed. Exposure to different cultures, places, and personalities is a hallmark of Youth Commission.

      6. Team Building

Through various projects, Youth Commissioners learn to work and function as a team. The essential elements of a team are reviewed and practiced. They learn to respect leadership and to demonstrate character. They become a self-governing body through their participation.

  1. Conflict Management

Youth Commissioners become better citizens through their involvement. They learn to disagree without becoming disagreeable. They learn the art of persuasion and lobbying. They resolve conflicts by communication and compromise instead of violence and dissension.

  1. Setting Goals and Effective Decision Making

Goal management is an important element of the Snellville Youth Commission. These practices become a part of the everyday practice of these young leaders. They progress from setting goals for the Youth Commission to setting effective goals for scholastic and personal development. Effective decision making skills will develop as they examine the “big picture” and future impact of today’s decisions.

  1. FUN

Did we mention fun? We cannot forget that these young leaders are in the developmental prime of their lives and these memories will remain with them forever. Fun is a mandatory component in their learning process, and the ability to have fun is a necessary requirement for participation in the Snellville Youth Commission.


  • Attend 1 meeting per month
  • Participate in the development of the framework, vision, goals, and activities for this program
  • Identify and screen student candidates
  • Serve as the contact for your organization/school
  • Rotate attendance of student meetings & events
  • Assist in the planning of student events
  • Mentor young adults




  1. This looks to be and sounds like a phenomenal idea and group! LOVE the idea and strength this will add to our community. I hope there is an avenue available as well. to reach the home-schooled and private schooled youth in our community as well to participate.

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