VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Valdosta middle school students now have an opportunity to experience first hand what it's like to be a part of city government.
As of Monday, the city was accepting applications for the first-ever Valdosta Youth Council. Students will have their own elections to form their mayor and council and will conduct their own council meetings at city hall just like the city's real mayor and council.
The students have to have at least a 2.5 GPA and have to be nominated by their teacher.
"The main purpose is to make sure that they focus themselves on their future and stay in school and maintain good grades. This is just another thing to show them that we are behind them and that we're willing to help them in every way we can," said Valdosta Mayor John Gayle.
Mayor Gayle said he heard about the idea of a youth council from other mayors who had started similar projects in their cities. At Valdosta's city council meeting on Thursday, council approved the creation of the program.
"There are so many kids out there that have so much potential," said Mayor Gayle. "We need to give them confidence that all this potential they have can bring them forward in this world, which is difficult."
Nominations will be accepted through October 2nd and those who are chosen will be announced at the October city council meeting. Mayor Gayle said he expects to have 10-15 students be chosen.
The students will have to attend seven council meetings and complete at least eight hours of community service.
For more information about the youth council, or to submit a nomination, click here.