Young people today are faced with many challenges that previous generations did not encounter. However, many of them are rising to the occasion, leading their peers and their whole communities. Each year, FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) brings 20 of these young leaders together to learn how to plan and implement preparedness projects in their communities. The application period to serve on the YPC is open until March 8. If you know any young leaders who are interested in helping their communities prepare for disasters, encourage them to apply and read below to learn more about the YPC.YPC preparedness planning and implementation comes in many forms. Topics of interest and initiatives are created in partnership with FEMA and other partner agencies.
Professional preparedness planners from FEMA mentor YPC participants on how to plan and implement preparedness projects. The members of the YPC are fully vested in the sharing and creation of information and materials to improve the preparedness of their communities.
The YPC provides youth an opportunity to affect change in their communities on a broader scale than most extracurricular activities can offer. The YPC also provides youth an accountable system that will help them enhance their abilities to plan, develop, and implement projects of all types. Not only will YPC participants learn project management skills and team-building techniques, but they will also learn how to develop workstreams and how to measure their successes.
The YPC meets online every other month to discuss ideas for future initiatives and to provide the status of current initiatives. The members of the YPC collaborate to take an idea through its journey of transitioning from a concept to a completed project. The collaborative environment encourages all members to find their voice, share what they think, and relay their individual experiences to preparedness. This format helps YPC members grow into more confident leaders with strong critical thinking abilities and communication skills.
YPC members find that interacting with youth their age, who live in various areas of the country, gives them diverse and fresh perspectives on a variety of issues and topics. The diversity of ideas and backgrounds enables YPC members to find the courage to learn new things, take the lead on projects, sharpen their written and verbal communication skills, and best of all, build their confidence as individuals.
Please encourage students in your community that are in the eighth through eleventh grade to participate in the YPC. The application period to serve on the council started on January 27 and will conclude March 8. Visit www.ready.gov/kids/youth-preparedness-council for future updates and click here to apply.
This article first appeared in the monthly Individual and Community Preparedness Newsletter. Subscribe here.