Starting on January 24, teens with a passion for preparedness can apply to join FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC)! The council offers an opportunity for teens to share their ideas and feedback with FEMA, grow their leadership skills, and develop preparedness projects. Members also participate in an annual summit with FEMA leaders and preparedness professionals to network and learn more about the field of emergency management.
This year marks the YPC’s 10th anniversary. FEMA created the council in 2012 to bring together young leaders from across the country who are passionate about emergency preparedness and making a difference in their communities. Since then, hundreds of young people have served on both the FEMA National Youth Preparedness Council and various FEMA Regional councils. Throughout the years, members have started preparedness clubs at their schools, hosted fairs and events in their communities, led Teen Community Emergency Response Teams, and developed a variety of preparedness materials, from children’s books to informative videos. Throughout their time on the council, members also exercise and grow their leadership and emergency management skills.
Nyla Howell was a member from 2017 to 2019. She credits her time on the council with helping her to develop a variety of skills.
“My experience on YPC helped me develop my leadership and project management skills that I continue to use to this day,” said Howell, who attends the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where she runs a campus food pantry. “I have been able to apply the skills learned on the council to organize and run operations, work well with other people, and to create effective programs that help people. I would definitely encourage any youth interested in leading in any capacity to apply for a position on the YPC.”
Howell has also continued her work in emergency management as a community development aide with the Prince George's County Office of Emergency Management.
Ready to apply for the council or know a young person who would be a strong candidate? The online application opens on January 24. Teens can apply through either a written or video response. They must also provide two letters of recommendation and a list of extracurricular activities and trainings. To showcase their qualifications, applicants can add optional supplemental materials such as links to news stories, awards, blog posts, and more.
Once applications are evaluated, FEMA staff will conduct interviews with selected semi-finalists. Successful applicants highlight their preparedness, service, and leadership experience and provide a well-rounded overview of their qualifications. FEMA will notify selected candidates in May.
Interested students can apply online. The application period begins January 24, 2022 and closes March 6, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. PST.
Save the date! On January 20, 2022 at 8 p.m. EST, FEMA will host a webinar for potential applicants to learn more about the YPC application process and to ask FEMA staff questions about the application. Register here.
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This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.