Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office


February 05, 2020
Lauren Kuhl, 608-283-1433
County Board

Applications are currently being accepted for Dane County’s Youth Governance Program (YGP) – a program that provides area high school students with real-life experience working as a member of a county committee.


For the 2020-2021 school year there are up to twelve spots available for youth to participate.  The program allows youth to serve on a county committee while developing life skills and youth-adult partnerships. 


The program began in 2012, and since its inception approximately 90 Dane County students have participated in the program, which is facilitated by the UW-Madison Extension Dane County office.


“It is becoming increasingly more important for youth to engage in government – specifically local government” noted County Board Chair Analiese Eicher (District 3).  “The County provides a wide variety of services that impact every resident – including youth.  Understanding how the various departments and processes work lays a great foundation for the young adults of Dane County” she continued.


Students are paired with a County Board member and serve on either a committee of the County Board or on a board or commission, such as the Food Council or the Park Commission.  Youth members have a non-binding advisory vote but are given the same opportunities for committee participation and involvement as elected County Supervisors.  


The application requirements include:

  • Dane County residents currently in grades 9-11 (who will be in grades 10-12 in fall of 2020)

  • Ability to commit 6-8 hours per month for YGP responsibilities, including attending 2-3 weeknight meetings each month. Regular attendance is essential.

    • Most meetings start between 5:15 and 6:00pm, and last approximately 1½ hrs.

    • Due to the time frame, involvement in sports or multiple extra-curricular activities may conflict with ability to commit to YGP

  • Strong interest in community engagement

  • High level of maturity

  • Good communication & self-expression skills (or willing to develop)

  • Responsible, dependable, & self-motivated

  • Positive attitude

  • Interest in developing skills in leadership, professionalism, and working with adults

  • Transportation to/from committee meetings in Madison (bus passes are available)

    (find info on meeting locations at


    For more details about the Youth Governance Program, please visit:


    Applications are due no later than March 6, 2020, the application form can be found here: