It breaks my heart to say this, but today's youth seem to have it pretty rough. Between bullying, peer pressure, and a society that seems to be losing its humanity more and more each day, I constantly worry about what the World will be like when my daughters are adults.

Something needs to change, and the burden of this change will likely fall on our kids. Children are our future, so shaping them into positive leaders and community members is a very important thing to do.

This is exactly why Rockford Mayor Thomas McNamara, Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney, and the Winnebago County County Health Department have teamed up to form Rockford's new Youth Leadership Council.

The mission of the Youth Leadership Council is simple, yet important: "Build leaders today - Retain leaders tomorrow."

Here's where you and I come in. The Chairman & Mayor's Youth Leadership Council is currently looking for exceptional high school students to be members of the new council.

Students may come from public or private schools all over Winnebago County, but cannot be nominated by immediate family members. (Sorry, Mama.)

If you are a teacher, principal, coach, community leader or community member who knows a teen you think other kids should learn from, nominate them to help build the future of Rockford!

To be members of the Youth Leadership Council, students must:

  • Sophomores or juniors in high school (returning members may be seniors)
  • Willing to complete 10 hours of community service during the school year
  • Interested in learning more about leadership, public policy, community health, and local government
  • Able to attend and participate in at least 80% of monthly Young Leadership Council meetings
  •  Self-starters with the potential to develop into future leaders of our community

Fill out the nomination form, and see what council members will be responsible for, go to rockfordil.gov. All nomination forms must be received by September 5, 2018.

Catch Lil Zim on ‘Q98.5 Mornings with Lil Zim & JB’ on Q98.5 from 5:00 a.m. to 10 a.m. Follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook