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Knoxville's first Youth Council formed to give a voice to the city's future leaders

17 students from eight Knox County Schools were selected to join the Mayor's Youth Council

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville has selected 17 students to join the city's first-ever Mayor’s Youth Council.

“Young people are our future, and their perspective is invaluable to the City,” says Mayor Indya Kincannon. “I look forward to finding ways we can implement the ideas the Youth Council brings to the table.” 

The council was formed after Empower Knox invited youth ages 12 to 20 years old to attend one of two virtual forums to discuss their thoughts on city government, its role in their lives and the community at large. They discussed strategies for both improving communication with the city and ways to help Knoxville grow. 

Some of their biggest concerns included violence, inequities, transportation and activities for young people.

“We are so excited to work with such a diverse group of young changemakers,” says Kathy Mack, Community Engagement Manager in the City’s Department of Community Empowerment. Mack heads the Empower Knox initiative, which works to build successful life outcomes for Knoxville’s youth and will coordinate and support the Mayor’s Youth Council. 

The Youth Council will meet regularly starting this summer.

“Education and team-building will be instrumental in sustaining a solid group,” Mack says. “They are from different backgrounds and experiences. It’s important for them to build a strong foundation, so they can start moving forward together. Our government is built on collective change, work that our young people are excited to be a part of.”

Members of the Mayor's Youth Council

Austin East High School

  • Aaliyah Rice, 12th grade
  • Kyniya Hutchison, 11th grade
  • Maleek Bishop, 11th grade
  • Yasmine Croom, 10th grade
  • Tylan Baker, 9th grade

Bearden Middle School

  • Darian Macon, 8th grade
  • Farragut High School
  • Nolan Du, 12th grade
  • Sam Kittrell, 11th grade

Farragut Middle School

  • Camilla Mata, 8th grade

Holston Middle School

  • Deion Moten, 8th grade

Richard Yoakley High School

  • Aniya McIlwaine, 11th grade
  • Destiny Laurence, 10th grade

Vine Middle School

  • Shermija Whitehead, 8th grade

Webb School of Knoxville

  • Molly Crawford, 10th grade

West High School

  • Coogie Person, 10th grade
  • Owen Davis, 9th grade
  • Henry Foster-Tobin, 9th grade 

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