Call for Nominations: Youth Listening Session


What’s the Plan?

On behalf of the federal Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is partnering with young people to plan a 1 ½ day event which will be held in the Washington, DC area to bring young people, parents/guardians or chaperones, and federal policymakers together on October 28-29, 2018 to better understand how youth make decisions in their daily lives. We’re looking for 20 young people to share their ideas with us.

What Happens at a Listening Session?

We have one primary goal…bring youth perspectives together to answer, “How do young people make important decisions?” There will be ice-breakers, small and large group discussions, idea presentations by participants, and conversation with federal policy-makers. Because young people are invited to bring a supportive adult with them, we will ask adult supporters to provide their ideas on the same questions in separate discussions to ensure everyone feels comfortable sharing their ideas.

Who Are We Looking For?

There are just a few key qualifications…

  • 16-19 years of age,
  • Willing to share unique perspectives, either verbally or in writing,
  • Interested in messaging and improving services and supports for young people,
  • Comfortable with travelling to Washington, DC for a 1½ day youth event,
  • All participants are encouraged to bring a supportive adult (parent, guardian, etc.). Young people under age 18 will be expected to travel with a supportive adult.
  • Available to attend listening session event on October 28-29, 2018; and,
  • Available to participate in a video meeting to prepare for the event. Multiple times will be offered.

How Do I Nominate?

Nominating is simple. Are you or do you know a young person who has a spark for leadership, is willing to share ideas, and would enjoy representing other young adults? Great! Complete the nomination form by August 30, 2018 **THIS NOMINATION PERIOD IS CLOSED**.

What Happens Once I Nominate?

Twenty young people and their parent/guardian/supportive adult will be selected based on experiences they represent. Organizers will select a diverse group of young people based on geography, gender, race, ethnicity and perspective. AIR will contact selected young people by phone and email in early September to discuss the opportunity, share initial materials and gather travel information. Participants will have a consistent AIR contact person to answer all questions. Organizers will hold an online video meeting prior to the listening session to prepare youth for the event and cover topics such as the agenda, how to share experiences safely, and any question they have about participating.

What Support is Offered?

Participants and their supportive adults can expect a few things from AIR staff, such as:

  • All event-related travel expenses, lodging, meals, and transportation to/from and during the listening session paid,
  • A consistent contact person for questions and preparation,
  • Encouragement in finding the best way to use their skills and sparks at the Listening Session; and,
  • Training in strategic sharing and a counselor on site during the event.