At the end of each term, youth are asked to reflect on their experience and respond to these questions. Here's a sample of responses.
Please describe a great moment as a member of the Mayor's Youth Corps (MYC).
"A great moment from my year was at the HIV/AIDS Task Force meeting. We had to give our input on a pamphlet that was to be distributed to Hillsborough County high school students. When we gave our evaluation, it turned out they already had their minds made up and weren’t going to give it consideration. We wouldn't accept it. We fought it and our voices were heard."
"A great moment from this year was going to the National League of Cities in Reno, Nev. I had such a great time and learned so much from this event. It was a wonderful experience. Many of the speakers made a large impact on me. This was also a 'growth' experience and gave me a taste of independence. Another highlight was the Paint Your Heart Out service project. This was the first time I had ever really painted. [The homeowners] were so grateful."
What would you tell others about your experience as a member?
"The experiences and opportunities you will receive from the Mayor's Youth Corps are unparalleled. I have been involved with many youth leadership clubs and activities before, but none have been quite as interactive and hands-on . . . Your voice is heard and you represent the youth of Tampa in city government."
"It made me realize how much it takes for a city to function and how many people are behind all the little things that happen in our community . . . ."
". . . this organization is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. The different friends I have made and the community service projects changed my life. You grow up while working diligently with 39 different kids with different outlooks. It's a true blessing that I was chosen, and I wouldn't change anything."
"It has opened my eyes and many doors to things that I would have never done . . ."
"The Mayor's Youth Corps was a great experience for me. The more you do, the more accomplished you feel. If you take heed the things you learn in Leadership 101, you will be able to make yourself into a better person."
"That it is a great opportunity that allows one to learn more about the community and to help others, as well. It also allows you to meet new people and make new friends."
In what ways have you seen your hard work pay off?
"Paint Your Heart Out . . . because we started with a rather dilapidated-looking house and a few hours later, it was freshly painted. We saw not only a change in the house, but a change in its residents, as well."
"I have seen my hard work pay off by being selected to go to Reno. I was so honored to attend. I feel we did a great job and represented Tampa well . . . ."
"Of course during the Paint Your Heart Out experience . . . to see the [owners'] faces when we were done, was just amazing . . . ."
How has being a member of the Mayor's Youth Corps benefited you?
"Being a member helped me understand the value of diversity. It was amazing working with people from different backgrounds because they have different outlooks on life."
"It has made me a more appreciative person, as well as more responsible and accountable for what I do. I have learned the value of community service and non-profit work [that] benefits others . . . ."
"I have benefited from being a member of the MYC because I have learned the reward of public service and have gained appreciation for our city. I understand that I can contribute and have a positive impact."
"I have become more involved in my community and made new friends. I learned responsibility, and sharpened my leadership and time management skills."
"The MYC has gotten me very involved . . . the T.V. show has taught me so many new skills. I'm very impressed with how that is handled. This is a wonderful program."