4/15-5/3: Central Library Lower Level/Children’s Library area will be closed due to construction work.

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Local teens gather for Youth Speak Out
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Santa Barbara Youth Council to Host 2024 Youth Speak Out for Local Teens

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The Fund for Santa Barbara (The FUND) has announced Santa Barbara Youth Council as one of six organizations in 2024 to receive the South County Youth Making Change Grant, a grant awarded annually to support youth-led projects impacting young people in Santa Barbara County. The Youth Council, a City of Santa Barbara advisory committee created to give local teens a voice in local government, will use the awarded funding to host the 2024 Youth Speak Out

This annual workshop is designed to encourage teens to advocate for positive changes in the community. During the 2023 event, several local teens voiced their concerns surrounding gun violence and safety. This prompted the Youth Council to draft a safe firearm storage ordinance that has reached discussion with the City Council.

“The 2024 Youth Speak Out will facilitate proactive dialogue between young people, highlighting the youth perspective on local issues and creating a foundation for change in Santa Barbara,” said Youth Councilmember Amelia Vander May.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 13, 2024, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Palm Park Beach House (236 E. Cabrillo Blvd.)  Topics will include public safety, environmentally conscious practices, mental health resources, and how teens can take a more active role in local government. The roundtable-style workshop will bring together teens and local leaders to help teens play a direct role in the issues most impacting them. 

“The teens who attend the event will have a safe environment to share their perspectives while expanding their views and understanding by listening to others,” said Vice-Chair Anastasia Li.

Event information will continue to be updated at SantaBarbaraCA.gov/SpeakOut as more details are finalized.

About Santa Barbara Youth Council
Established in 1994, the Santa Barbara Youth Council is an advisory committee facilitated by the Parks and Recreation Department to give teens in the Santa Barbara area a voice in local government. The fifteen members of the Youth Council are aged 13 to 19. Each serves a two-year term, advancing youth issues while gaining valuable experience giving back to the community and participating in the public process.

In addition to organizing educational and community-minded events, the Youth Council encourages collaboration among the many local agencies and organizations with youth-oriented missions, promotes youth participation and interest in local issues, and can make recommendations to the Parks and Recreation Commission and the Santa Barbara City Council on issues and policies affecting local youth and teens.

Visit SantaBarbaraCA.gov/YouthCouncil for more information, and follow Santa Barbara Youth Council on Instagram @SantaBarbaraYouthCouncil.