Oakley Youth Advisory Council
Located 50 miles northeast of San Francisco, Oakley’s landscape of rolling fields, orchards, and vineyards gives us a glimpse into its agricultural past. Settled in 1897, it only recently became an incorporated city in 1999. The city’s vision is to be recognized as a model of civic participation and a vibrant delta community where families live, work, play, shop, and visit.
In 2006, the City Council made building community identity for Oakley youth a priority. Vesper Society partnered with the Oakley Recreation Department to facilitate the development of the Oakley Youth Advisory Council (OYAC).
OYAC, composed of 21 members representing grades 6-12, was established to advise the City of Oakley on policies that pertain to community youth; form alliances with local organizations, schools, and businesses to help provide constructive activities for youth; and aid youth by assisting in solving problems concerning their interests and find ways to increase student participation within the community.
OYAC has become woven into the fabric of the city. Members, along with their friends, volunteer with “You, Me, and We” (a city initiative to integrate newly arrived immigrants), Cityhood Celebration, Heart of Oakley, Harvest Festival, Marsh Creek Coastal Clean Up, Movies in the Plaza, and Dia de Los Muertos. In addition, OYAC helped create award-winning youth programs, “It’s A Girl Thing” and “Boyz Time,” that aided middle school students in preparing for high school and provided insights on navigating difficult issues like social media and bullying.
By uplifting and supporting Oakley’s youth population and encouraging community involvement, Vesper Society and OYAC are ensuring the next generation’s leaders have the support they need to make a maximum impact on the community.
You can view a video OYAC members made that describes the role they play in the community.