Best Practices

Mayor William E. Ward

Mayor's Youth Day

Mayor's Youth Day is an annual event held in the City of Chesapeake which pairs 210 high school students with city officials. This event not only gives these students an opportunity to receive a first-hand look at how the city operates, but also to participate in that operation. City employees serve as mentors while students assume the employees' roles for the day.

The student participants are selected by their schools based on academic achievement, leadership and extracurricular activities. Most are members of their student government associations, or have taken a government class. Each of the public and private high schools are asked to provide students to fill the positions of the city officials and staff who serve as mentors for the students.

Students spend the morning, lunch, and early afternoon with their mentors. Lunch provides a special opportunity to discuss the students' perspective on city government, public service and other relevant topics.

During the afternoon, the student City Council members hold a mock Council meeting in City Hall which is broadcast live over WCTV, Channel 23. Council members consider and vote on two resolutions. Non-agenda items are also presented during the Council session. The meeting, which culminates the day's activities, is attended by all participating students, city and school officials, and other invited guests.

As the day ends, students are asked to evaluate the day's activities, and are taken back to their respective schools. The entire event is covered by the city's public information department, area newspapers and school reporters from each of the high schools in the city. Local television stations are also invited to attend.

Mayor's Youth Day is sponsored by the Mayor and City Council, Chesapeake Public Schools, the City Manager's staff and the Council-appointed Chesapeake Youth Committee. The Chesapeake Office of Youth Services is responsible for directing the activities.

Contact: Office of the Mayor, (804) 427-4581

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The United States Conference of Mayors

J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
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