Youth Council



Diverse Youth Taking the Initiative and Acting as a Positive Voice in Our Community

The Kirkland Youth Council is a group of about 45 middle and high school students who serve as the official advisory board on youth related issues and concerns to our City Council. They research, develop, and implement a wide variety of programs, activities, and resources for Kirkland teens. Members are highly respected in the community for their innovation, dedication, and positive influence for over 25 years.  These teens can and have made a positive impact on Kirkland. 

Annual New Member Application Process

The 2023-24 Youth Council new member recruitment process is closed.  Application process for the 2024-25 school year will open at the start of the new school year.

Who Can Apply to Join Kirkland Youth Council?

Candidates that meet the following guidelines are eligible:

  • Must be in grade 6-12 or age 12-18.
  • Must attend a Kirkland based school or reside within Kirkland City limits.
  • Must be willing to represent the interest of teens in Kirkland.
  • Must be able and willing to give a minimum of 35 hours of service during a school year, including evenings and weekends.  


How Are New Members Selected?

Submitted applications are reviewed by a group of current Kirkland Youth Council members.  After careful review and consideration, the group will determine which candidates will be invited for an interview in early October.  After interviews are completed, new members are selected.  

Guidelines for the selection process are as follows:

  • The selection committee shall consist of the current KYC Leadership members and if necessary, other Kirkland Youth Council members.
  • The selection committee will be fully committed to achieving a diverse council that represents all social, cultural, ethnic, gender, age, and sexual orientation groups that are a part of Kirkland’s youth population.
  • Kirkland Youth Council will not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation, cultural, ethnic, or social group.
  • Youth and Human Services staff members serve in an advisory and supportive capacity during the selection process and have no voting privileges.
  • Selection of new Kirkland Youth Council members is made on the basis of the KYC application and interviews.
  • Selection of new members is determined primarily upon the following criteria:  commitment, reliability, enthusiasm, desire to serve the community, and leadership skills.

We've Got Issues Video Program

We’ve Got Issues is a quarterly video project produced, scripted, and edited by teens for teens. The Kirkland Youth Council works in cooperation with the the City's film production team to produce this program that airs five times a week on Channel 29 (Check airing schedule). Some of the topics that we have covered include, the new Teen Parties, Distracted Driving, Teen Suicide, and many more.  Visit the City's YouTube Channel for the latest videos.

All-City Youth Summits

2024 Youth Summit.JPG

After a six-year hiatus, the Kirkland Youth Council is excited to announce that registration is officially open for their 2024 Youth Summit!  On Tuesday, April 2nd, middle and high school students in Kirkland will have  the opportunity to participate in a full day of group discussions about mental health and school safety with their peers.  Transportation will be provided by the Lake Washington School District and lunch will be provided free of charge.  Registration for the Summit will close Wednesday, March 27th. The online form can be found here.  For questions, please email us at

Special thanks to our partners Lake Washington Institute of Technology and Lake Washington School District!  Without their support, this event would not be possible.

In the spring of every even year, the Youth Council hosts the All-City Youth Summit. Middle and high school students come together for the day-long event to discuss issues, come up with new ideas, and fun. Information gathered from the summits are used to shape the workplan for the Youth Council.  

Excerpts from the 2018 Summit can be found on the City's YouTube Channel.  For the 2020 Youth Summit, a virtual panel discussion was held focusing on teens and the pandemic.  

Student Rights Information

The Student Rights informational pages were the result of feedback received from participants of the 2018 Kirkland All-City Youth Summit.  Student rights are those rights, such as civil, constitutional, contractual and consumer rights which regulate student rights and freedoms and allow students to make use of their educational investment.  The pages can be accessed here.

Where to Care Teen Volunteer Guide

The Where to Care Guide is a helpful resource for teens looking for community service opportunities on the eastside.  The publication lists over 100 organizations that accept volunteers under age 18.  Each entry is listed based on area of interest, minimum age, time commitment, contact information, and more! The guide can be found here(PDF, 678KB).

Mini Grant Program

Every year, the Kirkland Youth Council is allocated funds that are to be used for teen related mini grants.  The purpose of these grants is to provide short-term, limited funding to schools, groups, and community organizations for projects, activities, events, and training that benefit Kirkland Youth.  Members of KYC review the requests and make funding recommendations.  Program requests are accepted on a rolling basis and reviewed three times per year; October, January, and April. Apply on online.

Who Can Apply for a Mini Grant?

Any non-profit organization, school, or individual with a project that benefits Kirkland teens may submit an application for consideration.  Each organization/group that applies must submit the name of an adult (must be over 18) who will be responsible for any and all paper work.  Typical applying groups/organizations include school-based clubs, PTSA groups, and community based groups.


Eligibility Requirements

  •  Activities must primarily serve residents of Kirkland.
  • Activities must be limited to youth (ages 12-19 or grades 6th – 12th) participants and/or their parents/guardians with a minimum of 15 Kirkland residents served.
  • Activities must not be used as a means of generating profit for the applicant.
  • Activities must comply with all relevant laws and City ordinances and the applicant must be able to secure any permits that may be necessary to undertake the activity.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a non-discrimination policy.
  • Applicants must adhere to a sound and accepted management, business, and accounting practices.
  • Applicants must secure and document matching funds equal to or greater than the funds that are requested from the City.  Matching funds can be in the form of staff time, other grants, facility use, in-kind donations, etc.
  • For school-based programs, requests cannot be made to supplement existing academic programs.  All programs must be afterschool, club, or special event related activities.
  • Each program can receive funding once per calendar year (January – December). 


Application Review Criteria

Submitted requests will be evaluated by a team of Kirkland Youth Council members.  The review committee will consider the following:

  • Applications that are thoroughly completed – all responses clearly illustrated
  • Program demonstrates ability to meet need/interest of Kirkland teens
  • Program meets key eligibility requirements – i.e. number of teens served, non-academic program, matching funds
  • Prudent budget – do the expenses seem reasonable?


Requirements for Award Recipients

Applicants who receive funding must:

  1. Complete a summary report of funded project.
  2. Submit appropriate receipts and documentation prior to receiving grant payment (reimbursement basis only).
  3. Include the City of Kirkland on all promotional material.
  4. Notify the Kirkland Youth Council two weeks in advance of any public events funded by the grant.
  5. Receive pre-approval from the City of Kirkland for any changes to the original proposed grant expenses