What are the benefits of participating in the DCYAC?
Membership with the DCYAC is a unique opportunity for youth, ages 13-22, influence policies and programs in the District of Columbia that impact youth. Members of the DCYAC serve the youth of the District of Columbia by representing their ideas and concerns regarding various issues to the Mayor, Council of the District of Columbia, and other leaders and officials. In doing so, members gain valuable experience, as well as personal and professional skills as they engage in:
- community organizing of DC youth;
- community service projects;
- collaboration with other youth and youth organizations; and
- special retreats, training, and seminars designed to enhance leadership, professional development, and life skills.
What is the time commitment for members of the DCYAC?
Youth selected to serve on the DCYAC must first successfully complete the DCYAC’s Summer Enrichment Program before beginning their term of office. A typical term of office lasts from September through June. During a term of office, members are required to attend at least two DCYAC meetings per month, serve on committees, and perform other tasks as assigned. Members are also expected to attend community meetings and to keep District of Columbia youth informed of the DCYAC’s activities, initiatives, and programming. Members of the DCYAC are required to attend 75 percent of the DCYAC’s meetings.
Are members of the DCYAC eligible to receive community service hours for their participation?
Yes. Members are eligible to receive community service hours for their attendance and participation at meetings and activities related to the DCYAC.
Are members of the DCYAC paid?
No. Members of the DCYAC are volunteers during a term of office. Therefore, they are not paid. However, members who are interested in being paid a stipend to complete the DCYAC’s Summer Youth Enrichment Program should register through the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) by the required deadline. Members who are not paid are eligible to receive community service hours. The DCYAC cannot provide community service hours to members who are being paid through the SYEP.
What is the DCYAC’s Summer Youth Enrichment Program?
The DCYAC’s Summer Youth Enrichment Program is a six-week training program in which members of the DCYAC and other DC youth are provided relevant training on the history and structure of the DC government, politics, analyzing and developing legislative bills that impact youth, and monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of youth-related programming in the District of Columbia. Additional training is provided in the areas of budgeting and financial literacy, cultural diversity, media and communications, and social networking. Participants in the program will also complete group community service projects, assist in planning citywide youth activities, and be exposed to key local, national, and international officials and organizations. The program is in session from late June through early August. Successful completion of the program is required for youth selected to serve as members of the DCYAC during the upcoming year.
Does the DCYAC only select A-students?
No. The DCYAC seeks members with various skill sets and ability levels. However, given the time commitment required for participation, the DCYAC seeks youth who can effectively balance their academic requirements, extracurricular activities, and other obligations with their responsibilities as a member of the DCYAC.
Do I have to be a native of the District of Columbia to become a member of the DCYAC?
No. However, members of the DCYAC are required to be residents of the District of Columbia for at least one year prior to application.
I am a ward of the District of Columbia. Does this mean I am not eligible to become a member of the DCYAC?
No. Applicants who are wards of the District of Columbia must provide documentation from their social service agency verifying their status.
Do I need to know a lot about the DC government and politics in order to become a member of the DCYAC?
No. Youth selected to serve on the DCYAC must first successfully complete the DCYAC’s Summer Enrichment Program before beginning their term of office. As participants in the program, members will be provided with relevant training on the DC government, politics, and other key topics necessary to be an effective member of the DCYAC.
What documents must be submitted to successfully complete the application process for the DCYAC?
All applicants must submit a complete application packet in order to be fully considered for the DCYAC. The application packet includes:
- a completed and signed application form;
- a letter of recommendation; and
- DC residency and age verification.