The third year of the Pittsburgh Youth Civic Leadership Academy (YCLA) is now accepting applications. The three-week program allows city high school students to get an immersion experience in city government.
“Activities range from getting to actually use a fire hose with the fire bureau to accessing state-of-the-art planning tools with the office of city planning,” said Rebecca Delphia, Chief Service Officer for the Mayor’s Office. “Students have the opportunity to tour the water treatment plant to see where their drinking water comes from, they’ll meet the canine unit at the police bureau and opportunities such as that.”
The program is aimed at civic-minded students, and Delphia said special consideration will be given to applicants who are highly motivated, interested in community service and who want to use the experience to make positive changes in their neighborhoods. About 25 students participated in each of the last two Youth Civic Leadership Academies.
“We’ve had students that go through this program that end up joining the mayor’s youth council, that end up applying for mini-grants on behalf of their neighborhoods and doing neighborhood revitalization projects,” Delphia said. “Other students have gone on to study in universities different careers that are really public service and public administration-related.”
The YCLA is free for participants. Transportation will be provided to events outside of downtown, and students will be given bus passes to get to and from the sessions. They run every Tuesday and Thursday July 9 through July 25.
Applicants must live in the City of Pittsburgh and be in ninth through 12th grade. Applications are accepted online or via hard copy by contacting the mayor’s office. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. June 3.
YCLA is the youth component of the Mayor's Civic Leadership Academy, and party of the servePGH initiative.