Anna McEndree, who serves in student government at Grand Junction High School, came into our studios for an interview, live on 11 News Today. Anna says her duties include working with students from across Colorado, on the panel established by the state legislature. Anna is one of 29 youths from across the state to be appointed to the Youth Advisory Council.
McEndree was appointed by Grand Junction state Sen. Josh Penry, who was one of the principal sponsors of the bill that created the innovative council. Penry, who is Senate Republican leader, said McEndree represents the kind of talent and energy the council needs to accomplish its mission.
“The Youth Advisory Council offers a unique opportunity for young leaders to influence important public policy, “ Penry said. “Anna comes highly recommended, and I know she’ll be an articulate advocate for kids and western Colorado alike.”
The council was established by the state legislature last spring to provide lawmakers with feedback, information and advice on how policy issues affect Colorado youth. Colorado is one of only 10 states across the country that have created statewide legislative youth advisory councils. Members are between the ages of 14 and 19 and represent all areas of the state. Each was appointed by a state senator, with five at-large members appointed by the speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives. They will be joined by four nonvoting legislative members, including Penry, who has been an advocate for advances in education policy at the State Capitol.
In addition to advising the legislature on policy issues affecting Colorado’s youth, the council is also charged with consulting and connecting other youth leadership groups such as local youth advisory councils and student leadership groups.
The El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, has provided a grant to support the council in its first year and hosted its first meeting. An organization called Civic Canopy is providing the staff support and infrastructure to support the council. Other groups interested in supporting the council and enhancing youth civic engagement should contact Stephanie Walton at the Civic Canopy at (303) 522-9429.