Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Oppurtunity for Youth Service on the SIYAC Committee

Statewide Organization Continues Representing Youth in Iowa
Promotes Working with Legislators and Youth Civic Engagement

Des Moines, IA – With a goal of making the voice of youth heard in the State of Iowa, the State of Iowa Youth Action Committee (SIYAC) is now recruiting for its 8th year of fulfilling that purpose. SIYAC works with legislators, state agencies, and other statewide organizations to raise ideas & questions relating to youth issues SIYAC members and their constituents face.

“SIYAC is the voice of the youth in Iowa. It is youth empowerment, a powerful, positive force for positive changes in Iowa.” –Jeralyn Westercamp, SIYAC Chair

The State of Iowa Youth Action Committee or SIYAC (pronounced sigh-yak), is a committee that was chartered into existence in May of 2001 by Governor Tom Vilsack. SIYAC members are chosen through an essay and interview process each spring and come from all parts of the state. This year SIYAC is expanding from 16 to 21 members and is still accepting applications for the 2008-2009 school year. SIYAC is seeking applicants from western Iowa, northeast and southeast Iowa as well.

This past year, SIYAC focused on ways to reduce the rising rates in childhood obesity. Their work in partner with other health-related entities saw the passage of the Healthy Kids Act which requires the Department of Education to adopt rules establishing nutritional content standards for foods and beverages sold or provided on school grounds in public and non-public schools. The bill also requires students to engage in a minimum of 30 minutes of physical activity per day. In 2008-2009, SIYAC is excited to continue their partnership with the Iowa Department of Education in the sponsoring of a youth forum focusing on the promotion of physical activity and healthy behaviors. Past successful partnerships resulted in mandatory guidance counselors in every school district, anti-bullying legislation, lowering the age of poll workers to sixteen, and state-wide keg registration. SIYAC continues to work towards strengthening local youth civic engagement efforts.

“Iowans benefit when all youth are engaged and contributing in their communities. Experiences and connections children and youth have growing up affect their success in school, work, and life. SIYAC provides experiences and connections members and hopefully legislators will remember for the rest of their lives.” – Amy Croll, former SIYAC State Coordinator.

SIYAC is currently recruiting members from specific geographic locations for the 2008-2009 school year. Applications can be found at http://www.icyd.org/images/stories/SIYACApplication2008.doc. The deadline for 2008-2009 applications is August 8th, 2008. For more information, contact Bryan King at Bryan.king@iowa.gov

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