City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Members in Good Standing

Washington City Youth Council creates the leaders of tomorrow

In his 1954 literary classic, Lord of the Flies, British author, William Golding, depicted a remote island governed exclusively by youths—with harrowing results. Clearly, Golding never envisioned an organization like the Washington City Youth Council or WCYC.

First launched in 2010, the entirely student-run organization boasts its own mayor/chair, vice chair, a trio of councilmembers, a secretary, historian and a range of committee members, all of whom make a profoundly positive impact on their community during their three-year volunteer terms.

With a goal of engaging local youth to become more involved and active in their community, and identifying and training tomorrow’s leaders, the WCYC recruits new members annually. Applicants must reside in the 84780 zip-code and pledge to serve from age 15 to 18, with graduating seniors selecting incoming council members.

Throughout their terms, WCYC members attend twice-monthly council meetings and contribute countless hours of community service by organizing and staffing numerous events. Participants also meet and interact with Washington City’s governing body, learning how the city is structured and funded, and gaining insights into community issues.

Carmen Snow has been the WCYC director since the program’s inception 13 years ago. She believes it’s impossible to overstate what youth gain from the experience.

“Washington City Youth Council creates leaders for our community,” Carmen notes. “Kids who take part learn how to give back, and the program provides opportunities for them to make a difference and be heard. It’s really a learning experience in all areas of life: history, politics, leadership, and personal growth.”

At WCYC’s August retreat, 29 youths—the largest-ever group—assembled to make plans for the 2023–2024 term. As always, they’ll have a packed itinerary of events to oversee, including Halloween and Christmas celebrations at historic Covington Mansion, conducting Youth Open Forums, lending a hand with Cotton Days festivities, observing the State’s legislative session in Salt Lake City and more. Add in ongoing training sessions, and it spells a very busy schedule for WCYC members—and often, their parents.

“This is a huge commitment,” Carmen confirms. “It’s not something you can just say you belong to, and then you don’t do anything; you have to show up. We meet with our parents, and we help them understand that they need to be as committed as their kids are, especially when those kids aren’t driving yet.”

Ask Washington City Mayor, Kress Staheli, how he regards the Youth Council, and be prepared for a list of superlatives.

Says Mayor Staheli, “The Washington City Youth Council is a shining example of the value and ability of our youth. These youths and their leaders are among the best and brightest, and they are recognized throughout the State as the standard among youth councils. Their service teaches them how to take initiative and work, it connects them with our rich heritage, and it paves the path for our future. The impact their service has on our community, and on their individual lives, is immeasurable!”

Carmen is always eager to recount WCYC success stories as well. One favorite was a young man who was a typically awkward teen when he was first appointed.

“He was so bashful and shy,” recalls Carmen. “By his senior year, he was class president, and he was out there speaking like a pro. I’ve watched so many kids go through this process over the years, and what they gain is absolutely invaluable.”

After describing the WCYC’s triumph earlier this year—raising $15,000 to match a City RAP grant of $40,000 to commission the statue of Melinda Allison Kelley Covington that’s now installed on the corner of Main and Telegraph—Carmen can’t help but beam.

“They were so proud of what they accomplished, and I was so proud of them,” Carmen says. “They’re a pretty great group.”

Learn more about Washington City Youth Council at