TA Student Selected to Serve on Youth Advisory Council

TA Student Selected to Serve on Youth Advisory Council

Thetford Academy junior Shelby Varley is one of sixteen Vermont students selected to serve on the Youth Advisory Council, a partnership of the Vermont Family Network, the Vermont Agency of Education, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Vermont Division of Blind and Visually Impaired, Vermont Department of Labor, Vermont Federation of Families, and Green Mountain Self Advocates and Youth Advocates.

The newly-formed Youth Advisory Council (YAC) provides a forum for Vermont youth to come together to discuss a wide range of issues impacting the region’s students and to develop and advocate for solutions. The Council is a unique opportunity for youth to learn leadership skills and make a difference for the students of the future. Members are nominated and then must complete an application process to be accepted to the Council.

Shelby was nominated by her youth employment specialist, and when accepted, was excited to join the council and begin advocating for positive change. She is acutely aware of the socioeconomic conditions facing many students today and is very passionate about finding new ways to support students in difficult circumstances. Though usually soft-spoken, Shelby brings a compassionate and powerful voice to the table when she is working to improve the lives of others.

Some of the topics discussed at YAC’s initial meeting were trainings for staff and students to better recognize bullying and steps to prevent it, post-secondary options for students, affordable housing for recent graduates, employment opportunities, and the possibility of making presentations to the State Legislature regarding these problems.