Civic Health

The Y and Civic Health

Advancing “civic health” – how communities are organized to define and address public – requires inclusion of youth voices. The Y’s civic health strategy invests in our work to empower young people – not just as program participants, but as active contributors and stakeholders in decision-making within our organization and civic institutions.

The Y will pave the way for young people to improve the civic health of their communities by cultivating partnerships, expanding youth advocacy, engaging youth voice in leadership and governance, and ensuring equitable access and participation in our youth civic engagement programs.


Civic Health Champions

The Y is partnering with the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) to recognize and resource middle and high school educators as Civic Health Champions who will assess and strengthen the civic health of their schools through their sponsorship the Y’s Youth and Government program:

In addition to attending both fall and spring virtual trainings hosted by NCoC and the Y, champions will:

  • Receive a stipend (varies by state) to offer Youth and Government at their school.
  • Bring students to their state’s Youth and Government conference
  • Set civic health goals for their students and schools as well as administer a youth civic health survey to their Youth and Government participants and overall student body.

Interested in becoming a Civic Health Champion at your middle or high school? Visit our champions page to learn more and complete the registration process.


Civic Health Fellows

In addition to the work of our champions in middle and high schools, undergraduate students at colleges/universities around the country will have the opportunity to become Civic Health Fellows.

As fellows, each student will receive a grant to lead a civic health initiative on campus or in their community in collaboration with their local Y or State YMCA Alliance. After implementing their initiatives, fellows will be invited to present their findings to policymakers and civic health partners during a summit in Washington, D.C.

Applications to serve as a Civic Health Fellow open in the fall. Visit our fellows page to learn more and submit your application.


Civic Health Interns

To support the work of our champions and fellows, YMCA of the USA offers three 10-week Civic Health Internships per year (fall, winter, and spring) to interested college students.

Based at the Y’s office in Washington, D.C., our Civic Health Interns will assist in managing the operations of our civic health work, including but not limited to communications/tracking with champions as well as collaboration/facilitation with fellows.

Applications for these internship positions will be posted on our interns page, as well as on our careers page alongside other career opportunities with the Y’s Youth and Government program.