Bellevue Youth Link is a leadership program sponsored by the City of Bellevue, Parks & Community Service Department and Bellevue Public Schools. Since 1990, Bellevue Youth Link has engaged young people in our community and given them opportunities to make a difference.
“To be a catalyst in responding to the interests and concerns of young people by engaging the entire community in implementing an agenda developed by youth.”
“Youth Link envisions Bellevue as a city where young people are involved, valued, respected and listened to; where they feel safe and are safe; and where they can have fun. Ultimately, the impact of Youth Link is to enhance the quality of life for all members of the community.”
How we’re organized
Our organization consists of the Youth Link Board, Bellevue Youth Council, and multiple Action Teams.
- The Youth Link Board advises the
Bellevue City Council and
City Manager on youth matters and programs and is authorized by the City
to provide input on community youth projects.
- The Bellevue Youth Council is the main organizational body of Bellevue Youth Link and meets twice a month to plan various community projects, special events, and participate in leadership trainings.
- The Action Teams are smaller committees which focus on fulfilling the goals of Bellevue Youth Link, as set out by the Council.
Over the years, Youth Link has supported more than 70 youth-led projects, including the following:
Bellevue Youth Court was founded in 2008 to reduce recidivism rates
among juveniles who have committed crimes. It is a partnership between
the City of Bellevue and King County and hears two court cases each
month. A group of young people have been trained to serve as judges,
jurors, bailiffs, clerks, and prosecuting and defending advocates.
Teen Closet was started to address the age and style gap in most local
clothing banks. It was organized by a Youth Council Action Team and
opened in 2001. Since then, Teen Closet has partnered with Bellevue
Plato's Closet, World Impact Network, Bel-Red Self Storage, and other
local service organizations to distribute the clothes.
Kids Care Coat Drive is held each fall to help young people and families
without enough warm clothing. Distribution boxes are placed at Bellevue
schools, community centers, shopping malls, local businesses, and
community organizations collecting more than 10,000 coats since it began
Youth Involvement Conference is a Youth Link
sponsored city-wide youth conference organized by and for students every
two years. The event brings
together teens, parents, educators, youth service providers, and local
public officials to discuss issues specific to young people.
Youth Connection is a monthly online newsletter written by teens and
produced in collaboration with Bellevue Patch. Youth Connection provides
an opportunity for young people to share important youth related topics
and stories as covered and written by teens.
Youth Link Leadership Academy is a week-long youth leadership and
community service training held in Bellevue.
From hands on interactive presentations, conquering a challenge
course, and helping out at a community event, participants experience
leadership in all aspects.
- Gumbo Night is an annual social event that allows members of the Bellevue Youth Council to gather, connect, and share ideas with the Bellevue City Council, Parks Board, Human Services Commission, Bellevue School District and other local elected officials.
You can find more information about other projects on our Past Projects page.