Youth Leadership Opportunities

Youth leadership opportunities in local government are crucial for fostering the development of future leaders, empowering young individuals to contribute to decision-making processes, and promoting diversity and inclusivity in policy-making. By engaging with their local government, young people gain hands-on experience and develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills.

Youth Leadership Opportunities in the Mayor’s Office of Education and Youth Engagement:

Youth Leadership Opportunities

City of Houston Youth Ambassadors

The City of Houston Championing Change Youth Ambassadors include youth ages 13-18 who work to advance children’s rights and ensure youth voice is considered in the City of Houston's programs and decision-making. The youth ambassador program was established by the MOEYE in 2020 to support the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) community assessment process and help Houston become the first UNICEF child friendly city in the United States. The youth ambassadors were given the opportunity to engage and participate in discussions and service projects that advocate for local children’s rights and address the priority issues identified in the Houston CFCI Action Plan and by the MOEYE.

The ambassadors work with city and community leaders on youth-led projects, including a child rights podcast, and an emergency preparedness communications campaign. Below please find the milestones/accomplishments of the COH Youth Ambassadors.

  • 200+ Houston youth have participated in the COH Youth Ambassador program.
  • Analyzed data and developed program and policy recommendations for a CFCI Youth and Family Report on how to address youth challenges.
  • Advised on graphic design for the Houston CFCI Action Plan, provided feedback, and supported the development and implementation of strategies listed.
  • Served on the intergenerational committee to develop the Houston Children's Outdoor Bill of Rights.
  • Developed three youth-led Mental Health in Schools workshops. Findings can be found here. Data collected was shared at the 6th Annual Center for School Behavioral Health Mental Health Conference. Presentation can be found here.
  • Developed design and curated content for the City of Houston Youth Mental Health Guide.
  • Developed the Another Step for Youth child rights podcast focused on highlighting youth and city leaders working on the five CFCI Goal Areas.
  • Supported the development & facilitation of the CFCI Youth Advocacy Training Series, which empowers youth to advocate for the issues they care about. 70+ young Houstonians participated in the first two trainings of the series.

Other Youth Leadership Opportunities in the City of Houston:

  • Department of Neighborhoods: Mayor's Youth Council: Provides high school students with opportunities to learn about city government, develop leadership skills, and bring awareness to issues that are important to Houston’s youth.
  • Houston PD Youth Policy Advisory Council: Meet with the Chief of Police, other police officials, adult mentors and parents to discuss current and relative issues of mutual interest to them and the Chief.
  • Mayor’s Office of Gang Prevention and Intervention College Corps: Internships with office to give participants hands-on experience and prepare them for working with delinquent populations.
    • Youth Corps: High school students explore careers while learning soft skills to prepare them for jobs through the City’s Summer Youth Jobs program.
  • Office of Sustainability Youth Climate Ambassadors: Created to train young Houstonians to be climate leaders in their communities - raising awareness about the impacts of climate change and gathering feedback from historically underserved communities on climate challenges and environmental justice issues.
  • Teen Court: Hears real cases of juveniles who have received citations and are responsible for determining the sentences of teen defendants. Juvenile defendants plead guilty or no contest and choose to have their cases adjudicated via TEEN COURT. Volunteers work with real justice professionals to prosecute or defend the defendant. At the conclusion of the case, teen jurors are responsible for hearing the cases and deciding the punishment.

For more information about the office's efforts to advance youth leadership opportunities, please email