Youth on A Mission

Click on the image to access the YAM application

Youth on a Mission logo

What is Youth on A Mission?

Youth on A Mission (YAM) is a Youth Advisory Council comprised of high school youth from Unit 5 school district. The expectation of the council is to provide an avenue to engage youth, provide leadership growth and an opportunity to learn about municipal government. Youth on A Mission will engage in activities like community service, lobbying and strategic planning. The program year is 12 sessions, running from September to April. Students will also attend a Lobby Day in Springfield, Ill., and will close the program year with an award ceremony and celebration. 


Students from Normal Community High School, Normal Community West High School and University High School are eligible to apply. Students must have at least 2.25 GPA or higher to participate. 

There is no cost for a student to participate. In lieu of paying for the program, we ask each student to:  
  1. Attend every session and be actively engaged. Participants cannot miss more than two sessions. 
  2. Agree to participate in the YAM fundraiser. 

How do I apply?

Please apply online between Aug.16 and Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. Carefully review all documents. To be accepted into the program, participants MUST:
  • complete each form and obtain signatures from a parent/guardian
  • provide a letter of recommendation
  • submit the application and letter of recommendation by the deadline

When will I be notified I have been accepted in the program?

Applicants accepted into the program will be notified by email the week of Oct. 4, 2021.  A letter of acceptance will also be sent by mail.

Youth On a Mission Curriculum 

All dates are tentative. Most sessions will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
    o Retreat Weekend - Oct. 15 to 17: Team Building, Leadership Development, Civic Engagement, Prioritizing Projects, Selecting Project for the year
    o Session 2 - Nov. 20:  The Council & Mayor: Forms of Municipal Government (Council-Manager/Strong Mayor-Council/Commission)
    o Session 3 - Dec. 18:  The Departments: How Does it Work. 
    o Session 4  - Jan. 15:  Andrew Huhn: The Budget
    o Session 5  - Feb. 19:  Advocacy Training (Local, State, & Federal)
    o Session 6  - March 19: Boards & Commissions: Making Your Case
    o Session 7 - April 16:  Prepare for Council Presentation
    o Session 8 -   May 2:  Make Presentation to City Council and Final Closing Awards Presentation & Reception

Volunteers, Mentors & Advisors

Youth On a Mission, presented by the Town of Normal and in accordance with the National League of Cities, was created in 2021 to heighten youth engagement/involvement within the community. This council aims to engage and educate the youth of Normal about community decision making, sparking future initiatives that incorporate the structure of all levels of government. The council will directly involve the students in policymaking, as well as special projects, all of which are in partnership with adult community leaders. Youth On a Mission will also present a community plan to the Normal City Council for each fiscal year they are in session.

All volunteers, mentors and high school liaisons are asked to:
  • Oversee learning sessions and help maintain the agenda
  • Provide support to student participants
  • Keep students engaged and focused
  • Chaperone Lobby Day
In addition to these roles Mentors are asked to lead the session-closing round circle discussion, and high school liaisons assist with recruiting students to the program 

Those interested in becoming a volunteer, mentor or high school liaison must complete a background check. To apply, please complete this application.