Established in 1989, the Governor’s Youth Commission (GYC) is a diverse body of Arizona high school students from across the state. The membership of the GYC serves to be representative of the demographic and geographic diversity of Arizona. Commissioners work to identify and address the greatest challenges facing Arizona’s youth through innovative community impact projects, establishing partnerships with young leaders across the state, and advising the Governor. The GYC is committed to empowering generations of civically engaged and service-oriented leaders to create a brighter future for Arizona. Commissioners are selected based on their demonstrated commitment to school and community, and their demonstrated oral and written ability to communicate through the application process.
The GYC achieves its mission through its five workgroups that focus on the following issue areas:
The Distracted Driving Workgroup aims to combat distracted driving by emphasizing the consequences of doing so, and by also encouraging Arizona teen drivers to practice safe driving. #HandsFreeAZ
The 2022-2023 Distracted Driving Workgroup is focusing its efforts to develop a public service announcement (PSA) that brings to light how negative driving habits have personally impacted individuals within their own communities. These efforts will aid in increasing awareness and education to Arizona teens and young adults about the seriousness of distracted driving and how it is a 100% preventable problem.
The Domestic Violence Workgroup of the Governor’s Youth Commission strives to raise awareness about domestic violence and educate the public on how it affects the vast demographics seen across the state of Arizona. In order to do so, the 2022-2023 Domestic Violence Workgroup will be hosting four in-person events to raise awareness, gather resources for the prevention of domestic violence, as well as explore ways to support individuals impacted by domestic violence.
During the in-person events, the 2022 proclamation that recognized October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month will be displayed to demonstrate the Governor's Office's continued dedication to addressing domestic violence and increasing awareness of the issue. Additionally, and in partnership with Bloom365, the events will also have a silent witness exhibit to show that domestic violence does not discriminate against age, race, gender, education, or socioeconomic status. Finally, the workgroup is planning a Hygiene Product Drive and will distribute donated items to Domestic Violence Shelters across the state.
This year, the Education Workgroup will focus on raising awareness for alternatives to post-secondary education as well as the importance of completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) throughout high schools in Arizona. To do so, the workgroup will create multiple interview-style videos in English and Spanish that feature the perspectives of students, counselors, and families; documenting and sharing their experiences exploring alternative education and engaging with the FAFSA. The pre-recorded videos will allow for further expansion and greater outreach to communities where the GYC may not have commissioners readily available.
Additionally, the workgroup will create county-specific fliers highlighting resources, including opportunities for one-on-one FAFSA assistance, local trade schools, contact points, etc. By highlighting the importance of FAFSA completion and alternative post-secondary options, this workgroup is helping empower Arizona’s youth by expanding their post-high school access to options and better preparing them for a career they’re passionate about.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and presented new mental health challenges. Throughout the state, Arizona high school students have endured circumstances such as isolation, uncertainty, and repetitiveness that have taken an unhealthy toll on their mental health. Given this, the Mental Health Workgroup aims to gather resources on suicide prevention to better inform Arizona high school students and their families of the available resources within their communities.
The Substance Abuse Workgroup aims to spread awareness of available resources for preventing teen substance use and abuse.