YMCA National Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C. – creates opportunities for high school students to gain practical, real-world experience advocating for policy solutions that help Ys address critical social issues in our three areas of focus: youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.

The 2024 Youth Advocate Program at YMCA National Advocacy Days will take place early 2024 in Washington, DC. Information about the specifics and logistics of the Youth Advocate Program can be found at www.ymcayag.org/yap

Application Process

Up to 2 high school students per state will be selected from across the country to participate. Interested students should consider the following criteria before applying:
  • Must be a current YMCA member or program participant
  • Must be mature, motivated, and comfortable sharing their Y stories
  • Interested in serving as advocates and leaders in their community
  • Passionate about representing the Y on a national level
  • Past Youth Advocate participants are not eligible to apply
  • Freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will be given preference.
  • Y-USA is looking for student representation that reflects all dimensions of diversity.
Questions or are you interested in applying? Speak directly to your Club Advisor or District Director. The State Office selects National Advocacy Days delegates based on District Director nominations.

Program Fees & Transportation

The fee to participate in the Youth Advocate Program is up to $300, with the final amount to be determined based on philanthropic support. This program fee includes:

  • Registration for National Advocacy Days
  • Meals (except while traveling to/from DC)
  • Hotel Accommodations (3 hotel nights).

This fee does not include transportation costs to/from DC.

Delegates can also work with their District Director and local Y to inquire about any opportunities to partially or fully cover their fees and/or transportation.

Learn More

Watch the program spotlight below to learn more about the experience in DC, then click below to see the states and Ys represented by our current cohort of Youth Advocates:

2022 YMCA Youth Advocates