What is Youth Net?
Loudoun County is part of the Youth Net Committee, which is developing strategies for improving and expanding youth services in the county and optimizing the use of community resources to serve as many teens as possible.
The committee includes more than 20 individuals, representing government, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, philanthropy and business. The goal is to create a more formalized and structured public-private approach to youth services in Loudoun. This coordinated, community-based effort is designed to help Loudoun's young people become more engaged, resourceful and resilient.
Youth Forum 2019
The Youth Net Committee held a Youth Forum October 28, 2019. Select students from each Loudoun County high school were invited to attend. The event was made possible by a grant from Google.
Board of Supervisors Strategic Initiative
The Youth Net effort supports one of the Board of Supervisors’ Strategic Initiatives, which is to promote youth health, well-being and resilience. The Youth Net Committee will present findings, concerns and recommendations to the Board of Supervisors following the Youth Summit.
Recent activities in support of this goal include:
- A youth-led public service announcement contest to promote health and wellness and raise awareness of youth suicide prevention was sponsored by the Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services.
- The Board of Supervisors has provided additional staff in the Department of Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Developmental Services (MHSADS) to provide community Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training to more people, more often.
- MHSADS is providing MHFA training for staff members in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Services who interact with Loudoun youth.
- An inaugural mobile teen event, “Back-to-School Blowout,” an outdoor festival and concert for middle schoolers, was held on October 13, 2018, at Woodgrove Park and Round Hill Indoor Aquatic Center. The event promoted health and well-being to students in grades six through eight, including home-schooled students.
Building on Past Efforts
Youth Net builds on the work of the Loudoun Youth Initiative (2004-2006), which resulted in major improvements to youth services in the county, including:
- The formation of the Youth Advisory Council
- Expanded after-school programs
- The creation of the nonprofit organization Loudoun Youth, Inc.
- The development of several teen centers and after-hours programs.