A local group aimed at empowering youth to change their community is looking for teens to join an advisory council. Pittsburgh Cares is currently accepting applications and nominations for members of the first Pittsburgh Cares Youth Advisory Council (YAC).
All students in the city between the ages of 14 and 18 who will be enrolled in public, private, homeschool, or cyber schools in grades 9-12 are eligible to apply. Nina Zappa, the Youth Programs Coordinator for Pittsburgh Cares, said members would have a few options regarding the length of their terms on the Council.
"They can serve a two-year term and then re-apply after that, or if they just decide to serve one year, that's fine as well," Zappa said.
Zappa strongly encourages students to apply. "This a good opportunity for youth that really care about their community and a good platform for them to voice matters and concerns that are important to them and their friends and their peers," Zappa said.
YAC members will be involved in a variety of different activities, including working directly with the Pittsburgh Cares staff, serving as grant reviewers for the new mini-grants program, providing feedback, participating and mobilizing youth volunteers for the MLK Day of Service and Global Youth Day, planning and implementing donation drives for their school, church, or community, and participating in the selection of future YAC members.
"We'll be all together once a month and have a meeting, usually at the Pittsburgh Cares office… This will be the time that they provide feedback on our programming," said Zappa.
Zappa hopes each member of the council will also gain invaluable experiences and benefits, such as being able to participate in a robust decision-making processes, taking part in personal and professional development opportunities, having the ability to experience trainings and workshops, and having chances to network with other area youth, nonprofit professionals, and civic leaders.
Students in Allegheny County may apply through June 29 and will be notified of their application status in July.