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Summer & Fall 2016 Fellowship Program

Written by Alex Koroknay-Palicz Feb 04, 2016

National Youth Rights Association (NYRA) Summer & Fall 2016 Fellowship Program
3 openings
Application deadline: February 29th, 2016
Download Fellowship Information in Word

Founded in 1998, NYRA is a national non-profit dedicated to fighting for the civil rights and liberties of young people. Based in the Washington, DC area, the organization challenges age discrimination against young people, and seeks to change attitudes and policies toward youth. NYRA aims to achieve its goals through educating people about youth rights, empowering young people to work on their own behalf in defense of their rights, and taking positive steps to lessen the burden of ageism. NYRA’s website is www.youthrights.org.

The Fellowship program is designed to provide a structured opportunity for young people interested in advancing youth rights to gain experience in advocacy, to work together, and to learn from each other and the NYRA mentors. NYRA will tailor which responsibilities are part of each Fellow’s portfolio based on the Fellow’s interest, experience and preferences. Each Fellow’s portfolio of responsibilities will include a mutually agreed upon sub-set of the following:

Research and Writing
– Update statistics and arguments within NYRA’s policy advocacy resources such as our Drinking Age FAQ, Voting Age Talking Points and Curfew FAQ.
– Research and summarize laws related to the rights of youth (for example see here).
– Expand and update NYRA’s library of pro-youth-rights studies, research papers, and information.
– Write blog posts for NYRA’s blog and Facebook page.
– Expand and update NYRA’s repository of news articles regarding youth rights.
– Write op-eds, letters to the editor, and press releases for developing issues.

Outreach
– Develop and execute a strategy to further expand NYRA’s local chapter network, and to provide ongoing help for local chapters to support their campaigns and growth.
Conduct outreach and recruit new members both online and offline.
– Liaise with the media: including building and maintaining media lists of reporters; getting NYRA’s op-eds, letters to the editor, and press releases into the media;  contacting reporters who cover youth rights stories and encouraging them to interview NYRA; and helping to develop and/or serving as a media spokesperson for NYRA.
– Build and maintain NYRA’s online community of youth rights advocates by stimulating conversations, doing online outreach to build awareness and ensure a friendly, welcoming environment.
– Start a local NYRA chapter.
– Increase the reach of NYRA’s Facebook and Twitter feeds, as well as expand NYRA’s reach into other social media platforms.

Qualifications: In keeping with NYRA’s philosophy, the Fellowship is open to all, irrespective of age. The Fellowship could be appropriate for current students and graduates of Middle School, High School, College, and/or Graduate Degree Programs. The following qualifications are required: Fellows must (i) be able to produce and write a well-crafted argument, (ii) must be able to do internet-based research to assemble, summarize, and synthesize arguments, statistics, and policies related to youth rights, (iii) understand and support NYRA’s philosophy and mission, and (iv) must be authorized to work in the U.S.. In addition, candidates should possess some of the following preferred qualifications: (v) public speaking skills; (vi) ability to professionally and effectively communicate by email and phone; (vii) skill at internet-based promotion of ideas and issues; (viii) experience with multimedia content creation; (ix) some experience as a youth leader or organizer; (x) previous experience advocating on behalf of youth rights in some way.

Duration and Hours: This Fellowship is designed as a six-month Fellowship, starting around June 2016, and ending in December 2016. During the summer months, Fellows are expected to work 20-40 hours per week for 8-12 weeks. During the fall, Fellows are expected to work 8-16 hours per week.

Location and supplies: The majority of Fellows’ work will be performed remotely, from a location of their choosing, as NYRA does not maintain a permanent office space. Supervision and collaboration will primarily be done over phone/skype/email. There are two exceptions to this.  A 3-day long team retreat / Fellow orientation will take place at the beginning of the summer, in the Washington, DC area.  And during the summer, workshops will take place every other Saturday at an office near Union Station metro station.   In-person attendance is required for the team retreat, and for the workshops, in-person attendance is preferred, but attendance by skype-video is also possible.  Fellows’ work will require use of a computer, a phone, and the internet, and Fellows must secure these on their own.

Supervision: Fellows will be mentored by and work under the supervision of NYRA’s President, Alex Koroknay-Palicz. Fellows are also expected to learn from each other. Supervision will occur via weekly one-on-one check-ins, as-needed, and through workshops that focus on building a particular skill and/or provide the opportunity for peer-to-peer learning and feedback.

Remuneration: NYRA is an all-volunteer organization, and the Fellowship is unpaid. However, Fellows will be provided with a $750 stipend intended to defray any expenses the Fellow incurs as a part of participation in this Fellowship.  

Application Instructions: The application deadline is February 29th, 2016. Please submit your application to apply@youthrights.org. Please place in the subject line “NYRAFellowship_2016” as well as your name. A complete application will contain a resume, a cover letter, a writing sample, and an “interest level” ranking of the various potential responsibilities. Please find more detail below.

Cover letter: The cover letter is the place where you communicate any additional information regarding your qualifications that is not adequately conveyed in the resume. Additionally, please be sure to include the following information: (i) Why are you interested in this Fellowship? How does it fit with your short- and long-term goals, and what are you hoping to gain from it?; (ii) What skills and experience do you bring to the table with respect to specific potential responsibilities?; (iii) What is your availability – including preferred start/end dates for the summer and fall periods, and number of hours you propose to work during each; (iv) Whether you would be located in DC, or working remotely, during each of summer and fall; (v) Which of NYRA’s ongoing campaigns are you most interested in? NYRA’s current campaigns are on lowering the voting age, lowering the drinking age, curfew? (vi) What are your thoughts on NYRA’s broader mission against ageism?

Writing Sample: The writing sample should highlight your ability to make a well-crafted argument. It can be something that you have written for class, or any other purpose. But it must be solely written by you (it cannot be co-authored). The ideal writing sample would be one that makes an argument for or against a particular policy / law that is intended to persuade the audience.

Interest Level Ranking: Our plan is to tailor each Fellow’s responsibilities to his or her preferences, to the extent possible. And to bring on a mix of Fellows that makes sense. To help us do this, please rank each potential responsibility in order of your preference. That is, please place a “1” next to the responsibility that you are most interested in, a “2” next to the one you are second most interested in, and so on, until you have given a rank to each of the potential responsibilities. Please do this with the responsibilities listed above under Research & Writing and Outreach. Or use this file and see the table at the end.

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