Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is it difficult to start a NYRA Chapter?
A: Not at all. You just have to fill out the chapter intent form and hold your first meeting.
Q: Do I have to take on all of the issues NYRA works on? What if I disagree with one of them?
A: You don’t have to support everything we stand for. All we ask is that you don’t openly oppose any of our positions … we can’t have someone using NYRA’s name to support the drinking age or to push for more youth curfews! Many of our chapters focus their efforts around one particular issue. Our chapters have often chosen to work on issues specific to their schools or their areas, or to focus on lowering the voting age or lowering the drinking age, or to lift an ageist curfew in their town. You can start and lead a chapter even if you don’t agree with every stance we take; just focus on the issues where you do agree.
Q: I want to start a chapter, but I’m worried others won’t be interested.
A: There are plenty of ways to get people interested. Start by passing out a survey and find out what issues people are interested in. This will get them talking about youth rights and will give you a feel for the issues that are popular in your area. Creating a Facebook group or event is another way to get people interested. You can also join other clubs to meet people and get them interested in youth rights. Partnering with political organizations or clubs like SSDP or ACLU is a great way to find potential members for your chapter.
Q: I want to become more involved with youth rights, but is starting a NYRA chapter the best way?
A: Starting a chapter allows you to work one-on-one with our national staff members, and many of your accomplishments will be featured in our annual report at the end of the fiscal year. Many chapter leaders go on to be elected to the NYRA Board of Directors. Leading a chapter is a great way to put your name out there and show you have what it takes to sit on our board.
Q: Can I start a chapter at my high school?
A: Absolutely. Many of our chapters start as high school or college clubs. In fact, there are advantages to starting a high school or college club, such as access to club funding, access to a meeting space, and the ability to bring in other students as members.
Q: If I don’t want to start a chapter in my school, can I start one in my community instead?
A: Sure! Your chapter does not need to be affiliated with a school group. Community-based chapters give you the ability to reach out to neighboring areas for membership. You can work with students in neighboring schools or reach out to home schooled students. Once you become an official chapter, we can send you contact information for NYRA members in your area!
Q: I already have a successful youth rights campaign on my own. Is there any reason to affiliate with NYRA?
A: There are several benefits to having a NYRA chapter. Working as a branch of this national organization increases your credibility and your impact. You can point to our track record of success to support your campaign, to get the respect of media, politicians, and your community. You will also have all of our resources at your disposal. Becoming a NYRA Chapter further ensures that your hard work will have lasting impact. We can use your success to leverage change on a national scale. Your hard work will not be soon forgotten and will provide support for future campaigns.
Q: My parents don’t like NYRA, and I don’t want to fight with them. How can I convince them to let me start a chapter?
A: Leading a chapter provides you with invaluable opportunities to build the skills that will help you in your career. You will develop skills in public speaking, fundraising, recruitment, social media management, and advocacy. Many NYRA leaders have gone on to attend Columbia, UPenn, NYU, Harvard, Vassar, Hamilton, and other top-line colleges. NYRA’s leaders are tomorrow’s world leaders.