Athens Mayor's Youth Commission

The Athens Mayor's Youth Commission engages high school students in Athens in civic and volunteer endeavors. The program is coordinated through the Mayor's Office and utilizes mentors to educate students about the role of local government and their role as citizens. 

Through this program students to participate in community service, attend City Council and Board of Education meetings, and visit area agencies, historic sites, and city departments to learn more about Athens and the importance of being an informed and involved citizen.

The Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission will support community projects through small grants with funding the group received from WOW!

WOW!, an internet, cable, phone and leading broadband and communications service provider, sponsored the Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission with a $1,500 grant. The company was impressed with grant projects the Commission supported in previous years with Dekko Foundation grant funding.

“We are delighted to support the Mayor’s Youth Commission through the Community Grant Program in support of educating students in the role of local government,” said Shae Herren, marketing manager for WOW! “At WOW! we focus on connecting our neighbors with their world and are proud to provide funding for local opportunities and projects in the Athens community.”

The students agreed to support the annual Athens-Limestone Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration with a $150 grant to support the student essay and art contest. That event is Jan. 21.

The Youth Commission will accept applications for the WOW! Youth Commission Community Grant Program until Feb. 6. Applications must be from non-profit groups with a project that will benefit Athens. In the past, the Youth Commission has supported teen programs, art projects, a bereavement camp for children, library programs, Scouting and scholarships.

“We can tell students their opinions matter, but the best way to reinforce that is to give them opportunities to make decisions that impact our community,” Athens Mayor Ronnie Marks said.

Youth Commissioner Ann Marie Hodges said it makes her happy to know “our organization is making a difference in the lives of our neighbors and friends in our hometown.”

“The grants have helped to encourage and lift the load of several worthy causes,” she said. “I especially like the fact that we have contributed to Hospice of Limestone County Camp Hope. Our community is a better place by organizations like this. I am glad we can be a small part of that effort and others.”

The Youth Commission will review applications and determine which projects receive funding and how much funding each project receives.

“There have been times when there was no follow through with a proposal the Youth Commission approved, and the students notified the organization the funding would be reallocated to someone else, so they are learning about responsibility, following guidelines and making tough decisions,” said Athens Mayor’s Youth Commission mentor Holly Hollman.

Applications are available at City Hall or online at under the Government tab, then Mayor’s Office, then Youth Commission.

"I am happy you believed in me every step of the way. Thank you for showing me a woman can be anything she wants to be." - Kennedy Brown, former Youth Commission member

The Athens Mayor's Youth Commission won a Main Street Alabama Community Award at the annual banquet in August 2017. The Athens Mayor's Youth Commission won for engaging high school students in civic and community service programs. This includes students learning about downtown-based organizations and historic downtown sites through volunteering at downtown events, creating bicentennial-themed videos and touring iconic sites.

Youth Commission accepts award