State Youth Council

Colorado State Youth Council

The State Youth Council (SYC) is a sub-committee of the Education & Training Steering Committee of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC). The SYC advises and champions the creation of multiple pathways to economic and career success for Colorado’s youth. The SYC serves as the youth expertise body of the CWDC and will: 

  • Identify and champion promising practices advancing youth talent development.
  • Engage youth on their expertise and lived experiences to inform decisions.
  • Advise on how to best engage youth in career-connected learning opportunities.
  • Provide recommendations on policies and practices impacting youth talent development.
  • Make recommendations for use of SYC funds.

The State Youth Council convenes quarterly to set the direction of initiatives and programs impacting youth talent development in Colorado. During 2020-2021 the SYC has chosen to focus on advancing the following strategic priorities:  

  • Support employers in creating welcoming workplaces for youth.
  • Promote behavioral and mental health supports for workplace success.
  • Accelerate and champion registered apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeships for youth.

2020-2021 Values: 

  • Youth engaged as partners and decision makers
  • Dignity in all pathways 
  • Collaboration
  • Sustainability
  • Agility
  • Inclusivity
  • Operational excellence


State Youth Council Members

State Youth Council (SYC) appointees serve two-year terms as voting members of the SYC and work to promote and advise the CWDC on efforts to create multiple pathways to economic and career success for Colorado’s youth. The SYC is made up of young leaders under the age of 26, state agency members, and representatives from Colorado non-profits and other community based organizations.

Executive Committee Members

Cody Buchanan, Colorado Department of Education

Cameron Vigil, Young Invincibles

Cheryl Carver, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Delwin Maben, David Ortiz for CO HD38 Campaign

Isaiah Jiron, Park Hill Youth Collaborative

Katalina Garcia, Park Hill Youth Collaborative

Steve Wright, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Youth Leaders

Ashley A Settergren, League of Women Voters, Legacy Foundation, DECA

Brittany Stadler, CareerWise Colorado

Chigoziem Alex Egbune, Denver Public Schools

Gabriella Carrethers, YAASPA

Kaream Reid, Equitas

Michaela Lee, YAASPA

Sharai Conde

Veronica Allen

Walker Bargmann, Eagle Ridge Academy

State Agency Members

Alfred Burciaga, Colorado Department of Higher Education

Dan Kraus, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Pueblo JATC

Dave Griffin, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Fumnanya Camara, Colorado Department of Education

Heather Terenzio, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Techtonic

Katie Oliver, Colorado Department of Education

Lauren Jones, Colorado Community College System

Lorin Wakefield, Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment

Pearl Bell, Colorado Department of Human Services

Partner Organizations

Amber Palmeri, Mile High Youth Corps

Baird McKevitt, Xcel Energy, Center for Energy Workforce Development

Bob Gemignani, Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance

Elizabeth Barber, Greeley Dream Team

Eric Dunker, Arapahoe Community College

Francis Vigil, Colorado Springs Electrical JATC

Karina Amaya, Weld County Department of Human Services

Larry Beer, U.S. Army

Lorena Zimmer, Denver Chamber of Commerce

Mary Peonio, Goodwill Denver

Tania Curry, Project Lead the Way


Youth Engagement

Do you have an organization, event, or promising practice that you would like highlighted? Use the form below and your submission may be included on the SYC website.

  Make a Submission


Meeting Dates & Materials 

Materials for past and upcoming meetings can be accessed via the drop down menus below.

Upcoming meeting dates:

  • Aug. 26, 2021 from 12:30 - 2 p.m. - Register
  • Dec. 2, 2021 from 12:30 - 2 p.m. - Register
June 10, 2021

The June SYC meeting centered around planning for the year ahead in order to support youth workforce development.

March 4, 2021

The March SYC meeting was facilitated by Project VOYCE, whose mission is to partner with youth to cultivate transformational leadership that addresses the root causes of inequity in underrepresented communities. Project VOYCE facilitated a session that allowed for small group conversations, values sharing, and norm building to support the SYC in advancing towards its goals of better utilizing youth voice and expertise in decision making and conversation.

Jan. 28, 2021

At the January meeting, SYC members and interested parties discussed the Statewide Youth Career Fair and Symposium being held in April, including its impact on youth employment and career development and how you can get involved.

Archived Meeting Materials

Dec. 3, 2020

Oct. 1, 2020

June 11, 2020

Feb. 13, 2020

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  • The Blue Bench Webinar - Trauma-informed Care in the Workplace. This session is designed to support employers in utilizing trauma-informed practices to better support young people entering the workforce. View Recording.
Colorado Youth Talent Development

A landscape analysis of youth talent development activities in Colorado is in the process of being developed.

Career Navigator Toolkit

The Denver Opportunity Youth Initiative (DOYI), in partnership with the CWDC, released a Career Navigator Toolkit. The toolkit is a collection of promising practices from career navigators in Colorado.

Explore the toolkit

Colorado Statewide Youth Development Plan

The Colorado Department of Human Services maintains the Colorado Statewide Youth Development Plan, which presents a vision for a strong youth development network and strategies for improving an array of youth-focused policies, practices and programs. At the core of the vision and strategies is the incorporation of positive youth development principles into the services and programs for youth ages 9 to 25 in Colorado.

Learn more and access the Colorado Statewide Youth Development Plan

Mental Health Resources

This section includes resources from the SYC Mental Health Sub-group

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Get Involved

State Youth Council meetings are free and open to the public. All are welcome to participate in State Youth Council meetings and share their ideas on youth talent development in Colorado.

Become a Member

The State Youth Council is not currently recruiting for new voting members. Feel free to complete an application and we will contact you when a vacancy is available.

State Youth Council application

Colorado Virtual Career Fair

The State Youth Council and the Colorado Association for Career and Technical Education (CACTE), in partnership with education and industry partners from across the state, are hosting the inaugural Colorado Virtual Career Fair on April 19-22. Colorado youth, as well as their families and educators, are encouraged to intend this no cost educational event. With equity as a guiding principle, and leveraging strong industry relationships, the career fair aims to connect youth as a statewide community in a time when connecting has been a challenge. Register and learn more at

Seeking Career Panelists:
Are you willing to share information about your job and industry to help students learn more about job possibilities and see themselves in future careers? The fair will feature career panels representing a wide variety of industries throughout Colorado, and we are currently searching for panelists representative of diverse groups of professionals across those careers. If you are interested in participating on a one-hour career panel, or know of others who would be a good fit, please pass along this link or sign up by April 6: