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Contact: Michael Parker
City Clerk, City of Harrisburg 
[email protected]  

August 15, 2022

HARRISBURG – Harrisburg City Council wants children’s voices to be heard.

Council, in partnership with the Harrisburg School District, is opening up applications for the City of Harrisburg’s Youth Commission. The commission is an oversight committee designed to ensure local youth issues are heard in the community. The Youth Commission will consist of 11 Harrisburg School District students, between the ages of 11 and 18 by the start of the school year.

These students will advise City of Harrisburg government, both City Council and the administration, on all matters pertaining to youth in the city. The Commission will be led by Councilwoman Jocelyn Rawls, who chairs the committee of Parks, Recreation & Enrichment.    

“We had to put the program on hold due to the pandemic, but we are excited to have the commission return this year,“ said Councilwoman Rawls.  “Having a background as an educator, I know the importance of keeping our youth engaged.  I look forward to the opportunity to re-initiate the commission and to serve as their representative on City Council.”

The Youth Commission initially put out applications in June. However, the Harrisburg School District and Councilwoman Rawls agreed to open the application process to students as young as 11 years old. Previously, it had been limited to high school students. Students who applied are asked to apply again through this online submission form: https://laserfiche.harrisburgpa.gov/Forms/Youth-Commission. The link can also be found on the city’s website, HarrisburgPA.gov, and finding “Youth Commission Application” on the trending bar midway down the page. It is also located on the City Council’s webpage.

Students interested in participating will need to complete the online application, as well as write a 500-word essay describing what makes that particular student an ideal candidate and why it is important for youth to be involved in City Government, and two letters of recommendation.

The 11 representatives on the Youth Commission will be split into three sections. Four student representatives will come from Harrisburg School District schools at John Harris, Sci Tech, Cougar Academy, HVLA Camp Curtin Academy, Marshall Math Science Academy, and Rowland Academy. Four students will be chosen from Harrisburg Career Academies, and three will be selected from Harrisburg Charter and Private Schools.

City Council plans to move forward with the following timeline for the Youth Commission:

  • September 15, 2022 – Deadline at 5 p.m. for application submissions
  • September 16-30, 2022 – Application Review and Selection Period
  • October 3, 2022 – 3:30PM Meet & Greet with new Youth Commission Members
  • October 5, 2022 – Press Conference announcing new Youth Commission Members
  • October 12, 2022 – First Meeting, Electing President, Vice-President and Secretary

 Once all applications are received, Councilwoman Rawls will notify each applicant and make selections, no later than September 15, 2022.  For additional questions please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 717-255-3060.