Since 1990, Youth Link has made the City of Bellevue a national innovator in youth leadership and involvement.

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.

"Nothing is more important to the health of our democracy than the active engagement of young people in representative government at the local level." – National League of Cities

Mission Statement

“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.”

Vision/Value Statement

“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.
Our Projects

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 in 2004.

  • 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.