Getting involved with Mount Prospect Youth Commission

By Brian  Park
Executive In-Depth Editor|
When issues come up associated with students, such as bicycle safety or texting and driving, one group of people help to decide what is right for their community.

Formed in 1997, The Mount Prospect Youth Commission works to help identify issues they were notified of and issues on the village board. The mission of the commission is to involve youth in the life of the Mount Prospect community, according to Adult Supervisor George Clowes.

At the meetings, members, guests and adult supervisors get to debate and talk about multiple topics affecting the community and what needs to be done to resolve issues. Students living in Mount Prospect between the ages of 12 and 21 can join, and they are the only ones who can vote on the subjects. It is appointed by Mayor Irvana K. Wilks, and members must comply to laws and ordinances.

“It is unique in that the youth members are the only voting members,” Clowes said. “So adults are members, but they can only advise, whereas most youth commissions usually adults make the decisions.”

Currently, the commission is in need of more youth members. There have been as many as 18-19 members before, according to Clowes, but with only six residing members, the commission decided that it needs at least eight members in order to do all duties the commission is assigned to. In addition, there are no members in the meetings who attend Prospect.

“You can have an influence on the community,” Clowes said. “You can learn how a government commission does operate.”

As a public body member, members would go to meetings run like a government meeting, as well as divide into subcommittees. A chairman and a vice chairman would also be appointed.

Members also do projects for their community. For example, some students in one of the River trails school districts promoted smaller kids wearing safety helmets on bicycles. The commission managed to get the police department to have an incentive program to encourage kids to wear safety helmets.

If students are interested in getting involved in the commission or just want to give some ideas to the community, they should attend the Mount Prospect Youth Commission the first Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m. located at the Police and Fire Headquarters on 112 Northwest Highway, by the Mount Prospect Public Library.

The commission will keep track of attendance and hours, and food will be served at the meetings. However, anything you say in the meeting will be open to the public.