Durham Youth Commission

Durham Youth Commission Application 2017-2018

Durham has long viewed it's youth as valuable resources. In an effort to actively involve youth in policy issues affecting them, broaden the scope of youth leadership in Durham affairs, promote experiential learning on the functions of government, develop healthy citizenry habits for the future of the community and promote public awareness of the strengths and abilities of youth, the Durham Youth Commission was created. In 2003, Durham native DeWarren K. Langley presented the idea and concept of the Durham Youth Commission to the Durham City Council. Mayor Pro Tempore Cora Cole-McFadden is credited with instituting this initiative.


The City of Durham Youth Commission is a city-funded commission composed of high school aged youth. The commission is an opportunity for youth to have a formal role in the city’s planning and decision making process. The commission is open to youth who attend school (Durham Public Schools, private schools, and home schools) in the City of Durham. All applicants will be considered regardless of race, gender, national origin or disability.

The commission is governed by Senior Community Relations Coordinator Evelyn Scott, and Recreation Specialist Anthony Mitchell, of the City of Durham Office on Youth, 919-354-2730.

Mission Statement

The Durham Youth Commission exists to provide comprehensive civic education, leadership development and service learning opportunities for Durham youth through appointment on city boards, commissions and through leadership development opportunities.

Goals & Objectives

  • The members of the Durham Youth Commission will be appointed to various boards and commissions that serve the residents of the City of Durham.
  • The youth commission members will actively participate in discussion and the decision-making process regarding the issues faced by these boards; through this process the youth will learn how municipalities function and the importance of resident involvement in civic matters.
  • The youth commission will learn the importance of community service projects to the members of the Durham community through participation in hands-on service projects.
  • The youth will be carefully educated and trained to understand the role of public service and advocacy.

Terms of Service of the City of Durham Youth Commission

  • A citywide application process will allow the selection of 30 members, 9th grade through 12th grade and reflecting the diversity of the City of Durham.
  • Selected youth will demonstrate an understanding of issues facing the City of Durham, and will have a demonstrated history of involvement in community activities as well as school activities.
  • The selected members of the Durham Youth Commission will serve 1-year terms. The application and selection process will take place annually during the months of March and April. Term of service will expire the following year on May 31.
  • Youth will sign a contract agreeing to the terms of service, which includes a commitment to attend all youth commission sponsored events, training/conferences and the meetings of boards/commissions to which the youth are assigned.
  • Youth will commit to 20 hours of community service during their 1-year term of service.
  • Selected youth will be responsible for upholding youth commission by-laws and self-regulating the membership.