Youth Council for Public Policy

Movements for change are almost always spear-headed by young people who are bold, imaginative and courageous. INVST is fundamentally interested in what youth have to say about how the world ought to be.

The Youth Council for Public Policy empowers students to use the democratic process as a tool for positive social change. It uniquely offers high school students from Boulder Valley and Saint Vrain school districts the chance to attend classes on the CU-Boulder campus and participate with college students, earning CU credit. 

In INVS 1523, a dedicated teaching team empowers high school and college students to explore their own opinions and political leanings and encourages young people to consider making a bid for public office.  The Youth Council empowers learners to develop opinions on local political topics, and educates people as young as age 13 on the most pressing environmental and social justice concerns reflected in public policy. Perhaps most importantly, the program attempts to get young people excited, inspired and enthusiastic about politics, and hopes to foment a culture of political engagement and enthusiasm.

In September of 2002, INVST Community Studies worked with former Colorado State Senator Dorothy Rupert to design a non-partisan model to educate young people about the democratic process.
Youth Council students learn the basic workings of democracy and the U.S. political system.  They examine civic values and develop understanding about civil liberties, with a focus on the balance of the rights and responsibilities of being U.S. citizens.  In addition, they learn skills for competent citizenship such as advocacy and civil discourse.  For example, in each course they have the experience of individually and collectively analyzing current political issues, determining viable policy solutions and presenting their positions. The course description is as follows:


This course educates and inspires students for civic engagement.  Students will develop theoretical knowledge and practical skills to participate successfully in a diverse democratic society, primarily at the state & local levels.  They will have first-hand experience critically analyzing legislative issues, developing policy recommendations, and learning to advocate for change.