Metropolitan Education Commission

Our Voice, Our Community, Our Future

In 1990, the Tucson Mayor and Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors established, through resolution, established the 34-member Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC).  The MEC was the first in the United States to bring city and county government entities together with leaders from public and private schools, businesses, government, social services, and the Hispanic-Native-African-Asian-American communities, and youth to address all areas affecting the educational welfare of Tucson and Pima County Citizens.


The MEC’s primary functions are to:

  1. Advocate for sound and wise educational policies, practices, and legislation necessary to raise the State of Arizona, Pima County, and the City of Tucson to the highest possible levels of interest in, and support for, education;
  2. Communicate ideas, programs and innovative practices in ways that increase access to the very best concepts and programs, and ensure that the many school districts, community colleges, universities, and community organizations engaged in education are aware of the mission and work of each other and are striving to achieve the highest possible educational benefit; and
  3. Collaborate with the many agencies that support education, by encouraging agencies to work together for the common purpose of enhancing the educational welfare of the citizens of the City of Tucson and Pima County.


Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) 2017-2018 Meeting Schedule:

The 34-member commission meets monthly at the Tucson Pima Public Library, Lower Level Meeting Room, 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701 4:00-6:00 p.m. *except where noted All meetings take place at:

Tucson Pima Public Library, Lower Level Meeting Room 101 N. Stone Ave., Tucson, AZ 85701 4:00-6:00 p.m. *except where noted.


  • *August 5  (*retreat August 5, 7:45 a.m. - 12 noon,
    U of A Student Union/Catalina Room)
  • September 20
  • October 18
  • November 15
  • December 20

Annual Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon

The 28th Annual Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon will take place on Friday, April 27th, 2018 at the Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Reservations are $75.00 per seat for individuals. For Table, Patron, Gold, or Platinum Sponsorships, please click on one of the links below for the Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon Pledge Form:
Crystal Apple Awards Pledge Form docx
Crystal Apple Awards Pledge Form PDF

A video chronicling the MEC’s history and accomplishments was produced by Media Source America and presented at last year’s event.  The video may be viewed here: 

If you have any questions please call us at 520-670-0055 or email us at:

The Key To Employment For The 21st Century Symposium

Students and educators from around Pima County attend this annual event which is supported by the City of Tucson, Pima County, the University of Arizona, and Pima Community College. This Symposium is designed to introduce students to high tech industries as career options for their future, and since its inception has reached over 6,500 students.  The Key to Employment for the 21st Century Symposium is a Signature Event of the AZ Sci-Fi Tech Festival.

The Symposium was held on February 7, 2018, at the University of Arizona Student Union Ballroom, 1303 E. University Blvd.

Watch the video below: Health Careers of the Future with Janet Major shown at the Key to Employment Symposium!

Please donate to this great event. The Key to Employment has inspired students to pursue college, science, technology, and 21st Century STEM-related careers. Your donation allows more youth to attend and learn about hi-tech careers that are available to them. Let's show our students that they can be a part of the 21st Century. Please Send Payment to: METROPOLITAN EDUCATION COMMISSION 930 East Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85719.

Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC)

Since its inception in 1990, the Metropolitan Education Commission’s (MEC) Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) has exhibited exceptional value. Composed of middle and high school students representing public, private, charter and parochial schools across our city and county, the YAC/TTC gives youth a strong positive voice in our community. In October of 1993, the Tucson Mayor and Council and the Pima County Board of Supervisors amended the resolutions establishing the MEC to include two youth representatives on the MEC alongside community leaders. These students are chosen by the YAC/TTC to represent youth in the MEC’s decision-making process.


The goals of the YAC/TTC are to provide youth/student input on policies and programs designed to improve the quality of education throughout Pima County and to engage in activities, which foster leadership, citizenship, and the best educational opportunities for all Tucson youth. The YAC/TTC has been identified and utilized as an important contributor to the City of Tucson and Pima County community organizations to increase youth civic involvement.

Your Voice, Your Community, Our Future:  Join the movement!

The MEC’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) is recruiting new members.  Please select the link below for the application:

YAC TTC Letter and Application 

For questions, contact Ed Nossem, Program Coordinator at 520-670-0055. Email completed application to: or fax to 670-1110


The YAC/TTC regular meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month at the Metropolitan Education Commission office, 930 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, Arizona, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m (unless otherwise specified). The 2017-2018 YAC/TTC Meeting Schedule is as follows:

  • August 2017
  • MEC Retreat August 5, 2017
    7:45 a.m. — 12:00 Noon
    U of A Student Union Catalina Room

  • September 2017
  • Wednesday, September 6 
  • Wednesday, September 20 

  • October 2017
  • Wednesday, October 4
  • Wednesday, October 18

  • November 2017
  • Wednesday, November 1
  • Wednesday, November 15

  • December 2017
  • Wednesday, December 6
  • Wednesday, December 20
  • January 2018
  • Wednesday, January 3
  • Wednesday, January 17

  • February 2018
  • Wednesday, February 7
  • Wednesday, February 21

  • March 2018
  • Wednesday, March 7
  • Wednesday, March 21

  • April 2018
  • Wednesday, April 4
  • Wednesday, April 18

  • May 2018

MEC Teen Town Hall 2017

The MEC’s 24th Annual Teen Town Hall will take place on Friday, October 20, 2017 at Catalina High School. Last year, 219 students from every school district in Pima County and 37 community leaders were in attendance.

The Teen Town Hall, sponsored by the MEC’s Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress, Pima County, and the City of Tucson, brings students from around Tucson and Pima County together to express their opinions and voice their concerns on any topic of their choice to elected officials, school superintendents, high school principals, law enforcement representatives, MEC Commissioners, and other community leaders.

The Teen Town Hall offers youth an open opportunity to discuss any issue they have on their minds, and for community leaders to hear what is taking place in their schools, neighborhoods, and communities. We invite you to dialogue with youth, answer questions, and/or make suggestions. These events are catalysts for positive change; previous Teen Town Halls have resulted in the revision of curfew laws and the establishment of teen centers in neighborhoods where there were few opportunities for youth activities. 

A video of interviews with participants was produced by Tucson Unified School District’s Communications Office, here is the video below:

Student Civic Engagement Day

At the MEC’s Annual Teen Town Hall, the main issues brought forth by students set the stage for topics that will be addressed with Arizona Legislators during Civic Engagement Day. Examples of issues include the loss of teachers, classes, electives, and school programs resulting from the lack of education funding; and standardized testing issues. The Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress traveled to the Arizona State Capitol in Phoenix on March 7, 2018, and met with Arizona state legislators in order to discuss these issues. The students met with House and Senate leadership, as well as with members of the Southern Arizona Legislative Delegation.

Click on the link to see photos from this year's event: Special thanks to Kathleen Dreier!



Regional College Access Center (RCAC)

The Regional College Access Center (RCAC) is a partnership between the Metropolitan Education Commission, City of Tucson, Pima County, Tohono O'Odham Nation, and public and private K-12 schools, colleges, universities and community programs throughout Pima County. The RCAC mission is to facilitate access to and success in college for all Pima County students, with a special focus on students from low-income households or who are the first in their family to attend post-secondary education programs. Specific goals include helping students to:

  • Prepare for college: Increase awareness of college and career preparation opportunities provided by public and private elementary, middle and high schools, colleges, universities, and community programs available throughout Pima County.
  • Pay for college: Provide information on federal and state financial aid and a listing of scholarships offered by local and national organizations.
  • Graduate from college: Increase awareness of college and university transition and on-campus support programs designed to help students adjust to the first year in college, receive academic and social support, and guide students toward college graduation.
  • Develop workforce skills: Facilitate the access to career preparation resources, and promote the development of a highly qualified, diverse workforce.

In service of this mission, members of the RCAC work together to address the barriers related to higher education and workforce development. The RCAC serves as a coordinating and referral agency providing information on college and career preparation, financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

For more information, please follow the link below:

To learm more about the RCAC and Student Ambassadors watch the video below:

Crystal Apple School Counselor Award

Do you know a school counselor in Pima County that has gone above and beyond to help students stay in school or provided exceptional guidance toward college and/or a career? We want to know about them too!

The Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) is seeking nominations for the School Counselor Crystal Apple Award to be given to a K-12 school counselor who has provided exceptional support and guidance to students. Nominations will be accepted by an individual or group using the accompanying form. The nominations can be submitted along with endorsements and anything else that supports the claim that education and future planning is a top priority for this nominee. guidance toward college and/or a career?

Through the Crystal Apple Awards the MEC brings the community together to support systems of education that ensure both equity and excellence. The presentation of the Crystal Apple Awards celebrates the positive collaboration within the communities of education, business, government and the general population. The Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon will take place on FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018 at the Desert Diamond Casino & Hotel, 7350 S. Nogales Highway, 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

No contribution is too small in the eyes of the MEC because community recognition is a powerful tool that can educate and motivate people! Please take the time to complete this nomination form and give the MEC an opportunity to recognize a school counselor’s efforts on behalf of education in our community.

Click here to fill out a nomination form! Deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018: Application nomination deadline CLOSED.


2017 Dorothy O. Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Awards

The MEC's Youth Advisory Council/Tucson Teen Congress (YAC/TTC) is pleased to announce the 21st Annual Dorothy Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Awards Honorees! The award is presented to deserving young persons who have contributed or made a difference to the community, as well as improving their own life.

Ten youth are selected by their peers and acknowledged as winners of the Dorothy Finley Outstanding Teen Citizen Award. One of these ten winners is the recipient of the MEC's prestigious Crystal Apple Youth Award. The ten youth are recognized and honored by the community at the 28th Annual Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon, which will take place at the Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino on Friday, April 27, 2018.

Click here to fill out a nomination form! Deadline is Friday, February 23, 2018: Application nomination deadline CLOSED.

The 2017 Outstanding Teen Citizens include:

Dahiro Adan, Rincon High School, Tucson USD
Marlene Cabrera, University High School, Tucson USD
Audrina Campa, Sunnyside High School, Sunnyside USD
Nicholas Daniels, Sonoran Science Academy
Naomi De La Rosa, Pueblo High School, Tucson USD
Hailey Floyd, Mountain View High School, Marana USD *
Jaelyn Ioane, Amphitheater High School, Amphitheater USD
Jeffrey Kemper, Sonoran Science Academy
Matthew Knight, Canyon del Oro High School, Amphitheater USD
Alondra Solis Lopez, Marana Middle School, Marana USD
Adjo Messan, Presidio High School
Jessica Muth, Presidio High School
Kaylee Price, BASIS Oro Valley
Fatuma Salat, Desert View High School, Sunnyside USD

*Crystal Apple Youth Honoree

Goal One: Graduate!/Meta Numero Uno: Graduar! Poster Contest

The Metropolitan Education Commission (MEC) is proud to announce that the 23rd Annual Goal One: Graduate!/Meta Numero Uno: Graduar!  Poster Contest is underway!  Look below for the link to the flyer for the 2018 contest, which outlines how elementary, middle and high school students can enter. One piece of artwork will be selected representing each of three educational levels.

Contest prizes are: Elementary School - $100.00; Middle School - $100.00; High School - $100.00.

We appreciate your help in distributing the poster contest information to potential participants as in past years. The winners will be invited to attend, and given special recognition at the Metropolitan Education Commission’s Crystal Apple Awards Luncheon, which is scheduled for FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018 at the Desert Diamond Hotel & Casino, 7350 S. Nogales Highway. Your continued support is greatly appreciated! PLEASE SEE THE LINK BELOW FOR CONTEST RULES AND SUBMISSION FORM. Thank You!

Click on the link for rules and form : Rules and Submission Form

The 2017 Goal One: Graduate!/Meta Numero Uno: Graduar! Poster Contest WINNERS include:

Elementary School Category:
Heydi M. Acosta
4th Grade, Santa Clara Elementary School
Sunnyside USD



Middle School Category:
Olivia Labonte
7th Grade, Immaculate Heart School
Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson



High School Category:
Maheen Gul
9th Grade, Tucson Magnet High School
Tucson Unified School District


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