Fargo Youth Initiative

Boards, Commissions & Committees

Fargo Youth Initiative Bylaws

The name of this organization shall be the Fargo Youth Initiative and shall hereby be known as FYI.

The intent in preparing and adopting these bylaws is to provide a framework for FYI, its actions and agenda. It is not the intent of the City or the members hereinafter described to create a legal entity of any sort including without limitation, a corporation, non-profit corporation, limited liability company, partnership nor any other business, public or quasi-public entity.

Section 1. Mission, Vision and Tagline

The mission of FYI is “Empowering the voice and uniting the youth of Fargo through actions and teamwork.”

The vision of FYI is an “Atmosphere where youth have a positive sustainable impact on the community of Fargo.”

The tagline of FYI is Connect. Create. Educate.

Section 2. Specific Functions
Specific functions of FYI shall include, but are not limited to the following:
a) To serve as a liaison between the City of Fargo and the youth of Fargo.
b) To investigate needs, problems and issues affecting the youth of Fargo.
c) Research issues and make policy or project recommendations to the Fargo City Commission.

Section 1. Membership
FYI will consist of:
a) Between 15-20 students representing grades 7-12
1) Students must live in or attend school in Fargo
2) All student members will be at large
b) Between 3-5 adult mentors (aka Big Kids)
1) Adult mentors must live in Fargo

Section 2. Terms
a) Members shall serve a term of one (1) year
b) There are no term limits
c) Members are allowed to reapply after finishing their term
d) All terms begin on August 1 and expire on May 31 of the following year

Section 3. Vacancies
Should a vacancy occur the process for filling it is:
a) If a participant decides within 3 meetings (by October) that they no longer wish to participate, FYI has the ability to offer the role to another qualified applicant. (Based on interview & rankings)
b) If a vacancy arrives after October, the position will not be replaced until the following application season. Continuity in FYI membership and work on projects is vital to the success and it’s recognized that a participant may not have a full experience starting in mid-year.

Section 4. Officers
With the guidance of the Big Kids no youth officers will be appointed or voted on, in order to keep a sense of equality among all participants.

Section 1. Meetings
a) An annual retreat will be held in early August to orientate the new FYI members & Big Kids.
b) After the retreat there will be two meetings every other week, at the end of August and in early September.
c) Starting in October full group meetings will be monthly, held on the 1st Sunday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm.
d) There may be additional work group/committee meetings scheduled as needed. These meetings will be considered optional and attendance is not mandatory.

Section 2. Attendance
FYI requires full commitment and involvement of each member in order to succeed.
a) In order to ensure our success no member may miss more than 3 meetings.
b) Any member who missed a 2nd meeting will be reminded of the attendance policy and made aware of the consequences.
c) After 3 absences, the student will be asked to withdraw participation in FYI.

Section 1. Committee Structure
Committees will be utilized when appropriate. Students who are not participants in FYI may join committees to further the work of FYI. When possible the committees will be given time to work during the full group meetings unless other arrangements are needed.

Section 1.
a) FYI will have between 3-5 adult mentors (Big Kids) to guide the collective work.
b) Mentors will not be voting members of FYI, instead their role is advisory, to facilitate, provide guidance and connections and assist small groups/committees.
c) Mentors will also assist the outgoing seniors in choosing next year’s student participants.

Section 1. Application
An application process will begin in the spring of each year for interested students. Existing members of FYI will need to reapply. There are 2 components to the application process, a written application and a panel interview.

The written application will consist of essay questions and will be scored by the Big Kids. The Big Kids will blindly judge the answers to the essays without seeing the name, grade level or school the students is from. The judges will look for:
· Teamwork
· Flipping the “me” to “we”
· Leadership abilities
· Drive/ambition to improve the community
· Initiative
· Responsibility
· Community Services
· Actions

The top choices will then be invited for a panel interview.

The panel interview will be conducted by out going senior FYI participants and City Commissioner Sobolik. A decision will be made based on the panel interview only; it will not include the written application scores. Participants will be ranked by order; so if a vacancy occurs the next choice will be invited to join. After the interview, participants will be notified of their acceptance or denial into FYI.