Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Department of Human Services

Dane County Youth Commission

The Dane County Youth Commission was created in 1980 by the Dane County Board to work on behalf of young people in Dane County.

Members & Minutes

For a complete listing of minutes and agendas, visit


  • Luke Wolfe, Chair
  • Shriya Kata, Vice Chair
  • Meghan Benson
  • Kate McGinnity, County Board Supervisor
  • Gabby Ralphe
  • Ashley Riley
  • Chelsey Tubbs
  • Kema Williams

Duties and Responsibilities

The Dane County Youth Commission was created in 1980 by the Dane County Board to work on behalf of the interests of young people in Dane County. The Commission consists of eleven members appointed by the County Executive to two-year terms including two County Board Supervisors, one representative of Madison Public Schools, one representative of a school district outside Madison, one representative of a youth-serving agency and six citizen members—two of whom must be under age 25.

The specific functions of the Youth Commission, as per County Ordinance 15.44, are:

  • To encourage and promote youth participation in decision-making which affects them;
  • To conduct youth needs assessments and surveys;
  • To work with agencies and community groups in establishing priorities for youth services;
  • To work with planning and funding agencies on allocation of funding of youth services;
  • To work with agencies to evaluate the efficiency and effectiveness of youth programs;
  • To submit reports and recommendations to the County Board and County Executive.

Projects and Programs

The Youth Commission engages in the following activities to achieve its vision:

  1. Youth Assessment—In collaboration with area schools and funding partners, the Commission conducts a county-wide assessment of students in grades 7-12. Youth Assessment reports are available from 2000 - 2021. Data from the Assessment is used by policy makers, schools, law enforcement, social agencies and researchers to plan programs, develop policies and seek funding to better serve youth in Dane County.
  2. Youth Governance Program—YGP is a partnership between Dane County and UW Extension. YGP participants serve on county committees as advisory members. The goal of YGP is to promote youth leadership, provide learning opportunities about local government and public service, and to bring youth voice to community issues while fostering the development of confident, capable and independent leaders for the next generation. 
  3. By Youth For Youth Grants—In collaboration with the United Way, and the City of Madison, the Youth Commission supports this youth-led project that provides grants up to $3,000 for projects developed by youth for youth throughout Dane County.
  4. Youth Services--The Youth Commission supports and advocates for a strong youth service network to promote positive youth development, build youth assets and prevent risk behaviors.

Contact Youth Commission

Megan Meinen, PEI Prevention Services Manager
Dane County Department of Human Services
Prevention & Early Intervention Division
1202 Northport Drive
Madison WI 53704