Who Can Be a Youth Advisor?

Youth and young adults who have experienced homelessness and achieved stability are welcome to apply to be a member of NN4Y’s National Youth Advisory Council (NYAC). NYAC members will share their journey and provide insight from their lived experience to identify relevant issues, create policy recommendations and educate and influence the public, policymakers and youth practitioners. NN4Y will lead and direct all NYAC activities.

Requirements to be a Youth Advisor

The following criteria have been developed with the intent of engaging young people who are stable and able to actively participate and meet the expectations and obligations of being an NYAC Youth Advisor.  You are eligible to apply if all of the following are true:

  1. Have transitioned out of crisis intervention services, programs and housing.
  2. Are living in stable housing and employed or are pursuing educational/workforce development goals.
  3. Have an interest and passion in learning about government and public policy.
  4. Willing to share your story with the public, policymakers and youth practitioners.
  5. Between the ages of 18 and 26 years old.
  6. Willing to be out and public with your homeless experience through media such as photos, website features, speaking engagements, etc.
  7. Cannot participate in advocacy that is not NN4Y endorsed as a NN4Y Youth Advisor. You can participate in non-NN4Y advocacy as an individual.
  8. Willing and able to serve on the NYAC for a minimum of two (2) years.
  9. Agree to comply with the NYAC program expectations (below) as well as support NN4Y’s Guiding Principles.

Expectations of a Youth Advisor

We want to know that each member of the Youth Council is dedicated and able to fully commit to the Council. The following is a list of NN4Y’s expectations of a Youth Advisor:

  1. Participate in regular communication with NN4Y and council members through phone/video conferences.  This will be the primary platform used for group discussions, planning meetings and strategizing. We anticipate having a phone/video conference (at least) once a month.
  2. Council members are expected to engage in quarterly webinars provided by NN4Y that may cover the following (and other) subjects: best practices, self-advocacy, policy advocacy, testimonies and professional development.
  3. Share their personal story with NN4Y staff and NYAC members.
  4. Engage in creating policy recommendations and a strategy to engage with policymakers.  Additionally, speaking publicly to advocate for and further these policy recommendations.
  5. Learn about other youth’s homeless experiences; hearing stories of other youth to relate and become influenced to share their testimony.
  6. Travel to Washington D.C. or other locations for the purposes of educating and advocating for NYAC’s platform. This travel is subject to council members’ personal availability and NN4Y’s ability to cover costs.
  7. Travel to the NYAC Fall Retreat (location/date varies) and NN4Y’s Annual Summit (March 2020) in Washington D.C. are required for all accepted Youth Advisors.

Apply to be a Youth Advisor

  1. Make sure you meet all of the eligibility requirements to be a NYAC Youth Advisor.
  2. Reflect and determine if you are able to meet the expectations NN4Y has for a NYAC Youth Advisor.
  3. Have an eligible organization/person nominate you to be a NYAC Youth Advisor OR be invited to apply by the National Network for Youth.  If you are invited to apply you do NOT need a nomination form to be completed.
  4. Complete the online Youth Advisor Application by the deadline that is publicized by NN4Y.

Pointers for Completing Online NYAC Application Form

  • Prepare information about your personal background, homelessness experience, why you want to join the Advisory Council, and interest in advocacy and public policy.
  • Prepare short essays about the importance of advocacy and public policy in addressing homelessness, and how you plan to creatively engage youth and elected across the country in the movement to end homelessness.
  • Gather the names, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of two individuals who are knowledgeable of your personal, leadership, and service accomplishments over the past four years. You will be required to enter this information as part of your application.
  • Once you begin working on the online application, you must complete and submit it. You will not be allowed to save your application and return to it at a later date.  If you are ready to begin the application process, please click here.

Selection Criteria NN4Y Will Consider (non-exhaustive)

  • Young person’s passion for the vision and mission of NYAC.
  • Young person’s compliance with eligibility requirements.
  • Young person’s reasonable ability to meet NN4Y’s expectations of a Youth Advisor.
NYAC Online Application

Nominate a Youth Advisor

The NYAC is a council of former homeless youth who were clients of member organizations of the NN4Y. All council members are either nominated by an employee of an NN4Y member organization in good standing or are invited to apply by the National Network for Youth. After determining that the young person meets all of the eligibility requirements and is reasonably able to meet the expectations NN4Y has for a NYAC Youth Advisor:

  1. Get permission and agreement that the young person will serve as a Youth Advisor for two years.
  2. Complete the Nomination Form online by the deadline that is publicized by NN4Y.
  3. Ensure that the young person completes the online application by the deadline NN4Y publicizes.

Selection Criteria NN4Y Will Consider (non-exhaustive)

We would like to see a commitment from the nominating organization and/or individual to support the nominee while serving as a NYAC Youth Advisor. We know that our members are committed and dedicated to serving these young people and your power to inspire and support these young people as they serve on the council is vital to the young person’s success.

  • Take time to present and discuss the council operations with your nominee to be certain that the council requirements and expectations are clear and that they have a strong sense of the opportunity provided in serving on the council.
  • Make certain that you work on the application and essay development together, we look forward to reading brief but detailed response to the essay questions and letter of recommendation for the nominee.
NYAC Online Nomination

Submit a Nomination Form or NYAC Application

All applications must be submitted online. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

Within one week of receiving your materials you should receive confirmation from NN4Y that we received your materials. If you do not receive confirmation or have any questions regarding the NYAC, nomination or application process, please contact Yorri Berry-Harris at yorri.berry@nn4youth.org or 202.783.7949.