Sponsored by YMCA of the USA, this four-month program brings up to 2 high school students per state to YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. to meet with their Members of Congress and advocate for policy solutions that help Ys address critical issues in our areas of impact: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.
As a part of the Youth Advocate Program, participants will:
Applications for the Youth Advocate Program open at the start of each school year. This year, approximately 50 high school students (up to 2 students per state) will be selected to serve as Youth Advocates.
Youth Advocate Application
Deadline: September 29, 2023
Interested students should consider the following criteria before applying:
YMCA of the USA has received philanthropic support for this program to cover:
Youth Advocates will receive instructions for making their travel arrangements once registration opens for National Advocacy Days. Hotel reservations for all Youth Advocates and staff chaperones will be made by Y-USA.
To ensure that all Youth Advocates are as prepared as possible for their role at National Advocacy Days, all participants are required to attend four virtual training sessions, all of which take place on Sundays from 4:00-5:00pm ET (recordings will be emailed to Youth Advocates after each session is complete):
As part of their training, Youth Advocates also complete a series of assignments. Click each assignment name to view the submission form, along with a template you can download:
1. Community Profile
Designed to help Youth Advocates learn as much as possible about their local community and YMCA, including a visit (virtual or in-person) and interview with the branch executive or program director.
2. Peer Interview
Youth Advocates will be paired to interview each other about their Community Profiles, helping them understand the breadth and depth of YMCA programs and services nationally, and how Ys in other states may differ or be similar. Note: Both partners will need to have submitted their Community Profiles before they complete their interview.
3. Advocacy Plan
Completed in collaboration with their State YMCA Alliances, this plan brings together everything Youth Advocates will need to be successful during their Hill Meetings at Advocacy Days, including their Y story, their selected legislative priority, list and schedule of requested/confirmed meetings, and a meeting outline/agenda.
Y-USA is inviting Youth Development professionals to apply to serve as a staff chaperone for the 2024 Youth Advocate Program at National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.
Serving as a staff chaperone is a full-time commitment, from the moment of arrival until departure. Staff chaperones will have access to all National Advocacy Days content, materials and sessions, and will participate in all Youth Advocate Programming.
Y-USA will cover registration and hotel costs for all chaperones, and additional funds will be available to help alleviate chaperone travel costs.
To apply, complete the Chaperone Application by September 29, 2023.
Please review the chaperone requirements below before applying: