Bryan Kida – How His Work Benefits Youth and Community 

Bryan Kida

Bryan Kida is an advisor to the Caldwell Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council and leads two diverse youth groups: one a secular group with MYAC and another  youth group based at the church he attends. He sees differences and similarities between the groups but wants to impart a sense of service to community to both of them. (Photo by Julia Ruis) 

By Gaye Bunderson 

Bryan Kida, an advisor to the Caldwell Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council and a Community Outreach Specialist, actually leads two youth groups. One is at his church and the other is part of the mayor’s program to reach young people in the community, whether they are walking in faith or not. One group is church-based and the other is secular. 

“There are some differences that I see in the two groups,” Kida said. “Although their circumstances are very different for the most part, the non-church group seems to have a greater thirst for something.” 

The Council seeks to help them fill that void. 

Kida’s journey to the mayor’s office started in 2020, when he and his wife, Porshe, moved to the Caldwell area from San Diego, where Kida worked as an executive assistant to the executive team at San Diego Christian College. 

 “It was really scary [to move],” he said. “But a lot of impossible doors opened to get here. The last door was we got a house, and we said to each other, ‘I guess we’re moving here’.” 

Despite the fact that 2020 was the year the pandemic was sending folks to the sick ward and into social isolation and mask mandates, Kida nonetheless said, “I appreciate that period a lot. God was telling us to thrive, not just survive.” 

The couple came with the goal of helping plant a new church and were on the local launch team of Refresh Church. Kida was asked if he was comfortable leading a church youth group, an area he’d had experience in, and he said “yes”. The Kidas brought other experience and education to their work here. He earned a business degree from the University of California-Riverside, and she went to San Diego Christian College, earning a degree in Christian ministries, and is finishing a Master of Divinity from Liberty University. He’s 38 and she’s 33. 

Kida started his job with the mayor in September of 2022 after working in Boise. Currently, the Council includes 85 students representing 15 schools. Regarding the Council, Kida said, “Think ‘youth group for the city’.” 

He and Mayor Jarom Wagoner are the only advisors so far, and the entire program was the brainchild of former Caldwell mayor Garret Nancolas. The current mayor had the following to say about the project: 

“I am often asked, ‘What is the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council or MYAC for short?’ Plain and simple, it is a program that changes lives. Over the 25+ years of its existence, it would be difficult to count the number of lives that have been impacted for good by MYAC. Former Mayor Garret Nancolas know doubt had a vision for MYAC when he created it, and I can attest to the manifestation of that vision. The youth that comprise MYAC will not only change our world for the better in the future, they are already doing that right now as teenagers. It is one of the most successful programs I have even been a part of.” 

The Youth Advisory Council is not part of city government and its not taxpayer-funded. There is no Bible study. The idea is to reach Council members with positive examples and give the kids opportunities to serve others. Kida and Wagoner act as two adults who encourage and guide the youth. 

The mayor and I work well together. We’re after a lot of the same things. He loves the youth. The mayor is a servant leader,” Kida stated. 

The Youth Advisory Council is for students in the 8th through 12th grades; they can live anywhere, not just Caldwell; and it’s free to participate. 

Explained Kida: “We do community service projects, including helping the Salvation Army hand out turkey boxes during Thanksgiving; a Refugee Welcome Group that gives out ‘welcome kits’; and a Rake Up Caldwell project. 

“The main thing is the Council is all student-led – what they want to learn and what direction they want to go. They’re organizing all this; I’m there just to guide.” 

He and the mayor speak in schools, encouraging students to come be a part of the Council. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the youth who become Council members come from troubled homes. They come to the Council seeking community and looking for a place to belong, Kida said. He also stated that, though they may not be aware of it, students in both his church youth group and his city secular group, “all need Jesus badly.” 

Sermons don’t happen at the Council events but examples are set about a life of faith through both Kida and the mayor. Kida also serves as a receptive ear to the young people who attend Council events. 

“The students I work with, they talk about what happens in schools…a lot.” 

He said he talked to an eighth grade girl last year, who told him at least half of the students are vaping. When he asked how they get it, she answered: some parents give it to them; some steal it; and the third way to get it is from a dealer. 

So Kida talked to a school resource officer – “my co-workers for the city,” he said – to find out how accurate the girl’s statement was, and the SRO confirmed it. 

And it can get worse. 

“The students are extorting each other, and the currency is sexual photos,” Kida said, explaining this can reach all the way down to middle school. 

He attempts to understand what underlies these behaviors. Obviously, home life is a factor, but Kida sees other factors also. 

“There’s a lack of hope,” he said. “If a student understands their value, their worth, and has a purpose – knows God and His purpose for their lives – that would help.” 

Kida has studied and is well-versed in the dangers of vaping, but he thinks the habit is just a symptom of something deeper. He stated, “Yeah, vaping is bad, but there’s something more than that. … A lot of kids live very unstable home lives. Who’s speaking into their lives? The message they’re getting isn’t very beneficial. A lot of students go home to nothing.” 

Gangs are a whole other problem, and Kida and the mayor hope to bring kids into a better, healthier community through the Youth Council. 

Kida and the mayor have gone into the juvenile detention center to visit youth, and they work to see the good in all the young people they encounter through all the programs. “They’re all great kids – one group doesn’t have three square meals a day, while another does.” 

The Idaho transplant has no regrets over making the move with his spouse to the Caldwell area. 

“Our community is great. I have great partners I’m working with to help the kids,” he said. “I’m glad I came here. It feels very familiar. The community is very similar to the one my wife and I left behind;  the demographics and the things I’m seeing with the youth are similar. You see things that break God’s heart.” 

He went through a time of his own not knowing what God’s purpose was for him. 

“I went through a really deep depression when three people in my family all died in a row. I was going to a small church. I was in the fifth grade – God just met me there in my sorrow,” he said. “But I just didn’t have anyone to teach me. I went to Greg Laurie’s church and a church called High Desert Church in Victorville, Calif. Finally, when I was 21 or 22, that’s when I understood what Jesus’ purposes meant for my life.” 

Blessings came from that, and he wishes others to have the same experience as well. His work with two diverse youth groups keeps him aiming high. For both himself and the young people. 

Free Digital Subscription Sign Up

Free Digital Subscription Sign Up

Share this post with your friends