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Palo Alto Youth Council

Become and  advocate  for your community 

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Overview

The Palo Alto Youth Council (PAYC) is a group of 15-20 highly dedicated high school students who serve as youth ambassadors to the City Council. Their purpose is to foster communications and connections between teens and the greater Palo Alto community. To achieve its mission statement, PAYC is actively engaged in the community and identifies and addresses the key concerns that teenagers face.

Some of the programs PAYC has implemented in recent years include the 'Escaping Vaping', 'College Admissions after COVID', 'Finals Study Cram Slam', 'Palopalooza', as well as teen surveys and community service events. The PAYC is a great opportunity for high school students to conduct themselves as professionals and grants them the freedom to take on active leadership roles.

Apply

To become a member of the Palo Alto Youth Council, submit a completed application via online form. Applications will be reviewed and interviews will be scheduled with enthusiastic and eligible candidates. Applicants will be required to attend an interview with the nominating committee. Applications, including a letter of recommendation and video, will be accepted NO LATER than Monday, September 3, 2021, at 11:59 pm. Please note that the application must be complete in order to be considered for membership. 


 
PAYC meets Tuesdays from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Mitchell Park Community Center. For questions or more information, please contact officialpayc@gmail.com

Staff Liaison:

Chris Penaranda - YouthCouncil@CityofPaloAlto.org

Meet The Team

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Hi! My name is Emily Chan and I am currently a senior at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. I'm excited to serve as the President of the Palo Alto Youth Council for the incoming 2021-2022 term. Previously, I served as the Vice-President (20-21) and the Secretary (19-20) of PAYC. In the coming year, I hope to continue facilitating PAYC’s relationship with the City Council, local schools, and community partners. In my free time, I enjoy taking hikes and visiting museums.  

Emily Chan
President

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My name is Anika Mittal and I am currently a senior at Gunn High School. I am so excited to serve as the Palo Alto Youth Council's Vice-President for this term! I am looking forward to fostering the relationship between the youth community and the city council and addressing issues affecting teens. In my free time, I enjoy playing tennis, singing, baking, and spending time with my friends and family. 

Anika Mittal
Vice President

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My name is Olivia Chiang and I am a sophomore at The Nueva School. I look forward to serving as the  Palo Alto Youth Council’s secretary this year. I am passionate about bridging political divides, bonding the Palo Alto community, and providing education resources. I also enjoy dancing, public forum debate, and Mongolian barbecue. 

Olivia Chiang
Secretary

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My name is Kayley Spencer, and I am a current junior at Castilleja school. I am so excited to help serve our community as Public Information Officer. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, baking, reading, and spending time with my friends and family. 

Kayley Spencer
Public Information Officer

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My name is Jillian Ascher, and I am currently a sophomore at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. I'm so excited to be one of the Public Information Officers, and spread awareness about PAYC events. In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, and horseback riding!

Jillian Ascher
Public Information Officer

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My name is Natalie Goler, and I'm a freshman at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. I'm thrilled to be involved in planning events addressing issues affecting teens in Palo Alto. I enjoy playing guitar and tennis, and I run cross-country.

Natalie Goler

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My name is Julia Zeitlin, and I am a sophomore at Castilleja School. I am most excited to address climate change and climate anxiety among Palo Alto youth.

Julia Zeitlin

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My name is Monisha Pillai aka Mona and I'm a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School. I have a deep passion for impactful projects and I'm excited to be working on PAYC events this year. In my free time, I like to spend time with family and friends, and go on fun adventures

Mona Pillai

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Mahima Agrawal is a senior at Gunn High School and a member of the Palo Alto Youth Council. Her hobbies involve listening to music, baking, playing tennis, and reading. She also loves to travel to the farthest expanses of the Earth and marvel in its beauty.

Mahima Agrawal

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My name is Monica Sidana and I am currently a junior at Castilleja School. I previously served on the youth council for the 20-21 school year. This year, I hope to continue to cultivate a sense of community between teens from varying backgrounds as a means to build unity. In my free time, I enjoy watching Warriors and Giants games, playing piano, and spending time with friends and family.

Monica Sidana

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My name is Paul Cherian. I am a junior at Crystal Springs Uplands School. I enjoy playing squash, reading science-fiction books, and creating machine learning models!

Paul Cherian

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Hello! My name is Ella Holsinger and I am a junior at Castilleja School. In my free time, I love to dance and make banana bread! 

Ella Holsinger

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My name is Natya Chandrasekar and I am a freshman at Castilleja School in Palo Alto. I am extremely excited to be a member of the Palo Alto Youth Council for the 2021-2022 year. I can't wait to contribute to positive change in Palo Alto! In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, playing tennis, singing, and watching movies with family and friends.  

Natya Chandrasekar

Claire Liu.HEIC

My name is Claire Liu and I'm currently a senior at Henry M. Gunn High School. I joined PAYC because of my interest in public policy and my want to strengthen the connection between City Council and the Palo Alto youth. In my free time, I enjoy reading and drawing.

Claire Liu

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Hello! My name is Irene and I’m a senior at Gunn High School. I’ve been involved in Student Government since middle school and am currently the ASB President at Gunn. During my free time, I enjoy playing lacrosse, cello, and trying new things.

Irene Kim

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My name is Anthony Ho and I am a sophomore at Gunn High School. I am very excited to be part of the Palo Alto Youth Council and look forward to contributing to our community. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, playing piano, traveling, and spending time with my friends and family!

Anthony Ho

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2021 2022 PAYC MEMBERS

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