The Colorado Youth Advisory Council (COYAC) is a vehicle created by the Colorado State Legislature to bring the voice of youth to the Capitol. Since the 2008 legislation that launched COYAC (Youth Advisory Act in House Bill 08-1157) the mission of the Council has been to examine, evaluate and discuss the issues most relevant to Colorado youth and to formally advise and make recommendations to elected officials regarding those issues.
The Council is made up of 40 young people, representing Colorado’s 35 state Senate districts plus five at-large seats. These students have a desire to learn more about public policy and state government and are passionate about making a difference in their communities and their state.
Colorado Youth Advisory Council is open to all Colorado youth between the ages 14 and 19 who are attending a Colorado junior high, middle or high school, including online schools; nonpublic, home-based educational programs; or general equivalency degree programs. All eligible applications are reviewed by the COYAC Recruitment and Membership Committee and then sent out to the entire Council for approval or denial.
Throughout their two-year commitment, Council members explore topics that are of interest to youth, including education, employment and economic opportunity, access to state and local government services, the environment, behavioral and physical health, substance use, driver’s license requirements, poverty, and increased youth participation in state and local government.
In addition to the 40 youth COYAC members, there are four members of the Colorado General Assembly that serve on the Council. The speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives, and the president and minority leader of the Senate each appoint one member to serve as Legislative Appointees.