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. 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.


  • 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

Amber Palmeri,  Mile High Youth Corps, Co-Chair

Nick Huber, Co-Chair

Steve Wright, CDLE - Workforce Development Programs, Secretary/Treasurer

Youth Leaders

Shriya Biddala

Aarav Varma

Paola Trevizo

Aahana Dash

Aaliyah Berry

Vanessa Tao

Jonathan Kim

Madinatou Kouanda

Alex Trinklein

Ashlynne Bogema 

Bhupin Jain

Bhushali Jain

Diana Eshetu

John Krug III

State Agency Members

Dan Kraus, Colorado Workforce Development Council, Pueblo JATC

Baird McKevitt, Xcel Energy, Center for Energy Workforce Development

Shanae Core, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

Sam Fogleman, Colorado Department of Higher Education

Michelle Dennis, Colorado Community College System

Lauren Radin, Colorado Department of Education

Drew Grissom, CDLE - Office of the Future of Work

Partner Organizations

Bob Gemignani, Pikes Peak Business & Education Alliance

Eric Dunker, Arapahoe Community College

Glenn Hard, Careers in Construction 

Stephanie Murphy, Junior Achievement

Madeline Williams, United Way Denver

Suzie Miller, Arapahoe/Douglas Works

Jay Samant, Youth Talent Development Network

 Ashleigh Phillips,   Centura Health

Jennifer Landers, Colorado Young Leaders / CiviCO

Letia Frandina, Adams County Education Consortium

Kylie Parks, Arvada Chamber of Commerce

Greg Cordova, Employment Services of Weld County

Andrew Yost, Weld County Government

Sydney Golditch, Arapahoe/Douglas Works



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 Quarterly Meeting Dates:

  • Monday, April 8, 2024, 4:00 - 5:00 pm - State Youth Council Onboarding - Register 
  • Friday, April 19, 2024, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm - TBD In-person/Hybrid Meeting
  • Tuesday, August 6, 2024, 3:30 - 5:00 pm - Register 
  • Tuesday, November 12, 2024, 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm - Register
Archived Meeting Materials

February 6, 2024 

November 14, 2023 

August 28, 2023 

May 16, 2023

February 7, 2023

Nov 17, 2022

Aug 4, 2022 

May 5, 2022 

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 a 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.

Dec. 3, 2020

Oct. 1, 2020

June 11, 2020

Feb. 13, 2020





  • 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



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 currently recruiting new voting members. Please complete an application and we will follow up regarding your interest. State Youth Council Application