The Athens Mayor’s Office offers students in the city an opportunity to engage in city government and the community through its annual Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission program. Since its inception in 2012, members of the Youth Commission have volunteered with varous agencies to serve Thanksgiving meals, distribute Christmas gifts, sing carols for Hospice patients, and distribute grants funded by Dekko Foundation.
In addition, Youth Commissioners have learned about local government funding and how city departments operate. These Youth Commissioners have received hands-on experience such as using the jaws of life to cut open a car after a wreck, using the Athens Police Department’s gun simulator in scenarios where a suspect may or may not have a weapon, and using a special extinguisher for a natural gas fire.
“I saw a need to reach out to our youth to give them opportunities to learn how local government serves them and their role as citizens,” Mayor Marks said. “Whether they choose to make their home in Athens or live in another city, they should be responsible and active citizens.”