YouCAN is premised on one simple truth: Everyone can be a leader.
YouCAN is a part-time program for emerging education advocates and community leaders who are committed to improving education in their communities. During the program, each participant will develop, refine and launch an advocacy project that compliments the overall advocacy efforts in their states.
YouCAN runs from February—December, 2017 with 20 hours per month spent on the program. YouCAN Advocates will receive a monthly stipend of $400. Apply here.
During the course of the yearlong program, YouCAN Advocates will:
Attend a mandatory two day in-person orientation at the beginning of the program in Washington D.C.
Orient themselves to the advocacy landscapes in their home states and work to understand how their projects could best support the education reform movement.
Conduct a series of community-based meetings with local leaders.
Receive trainings offered by 50CAN staff as well as individual mentoring from both 50CAN national and state staff.
Refine, test and launch advocacy projects.
How to apply
Please complete this application form. YouCAN Advocates will be notified on a rolling basis beginning in early February. Please complete the application ASAP for consideration.
Priority will be given to participants in the following states: Georgia, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
YouCAN advocacy projects
YouCAN is all about putting local community members in the driver’s seat for change in their areas. Successful projects will share a few key characteristics:
The project will be oriented around advocating for educational policy change at the school, neighborhood, city or state level.
The project can realistically be run and managed by one person.
The project has specific, measureable and attainable goals.
The project directly contributes to the education conversation in the local community and has the potential for long term impact.
Successful applicants will possess the following characteristics:
Ability to commit to YouCAN through the length of the program.
Strong leadership and public speaking skills.
A clear concept of their advocacy project’s goal and metrics for success.
A deep connection and commitment to the local education landscape and community.
Grounding in the local community through their current employment or volunteer activities.
A willingness to ask questions, actively listen and learn.
Over the past decade, the education advocacy movement has expanded dramatically—reaching more states, taking on more issues and creating a new generation of professional advocacy organizations. But we still lack the deep community roots and bench of advocates to ensure that our efforts are sustainable, successful and truly driven from the local level.
YouCAN addresses this urgent need. It deepens the advocacy movement by ensuring that the voices of parents, teachers and community members are magnified, and creates the potential for large-scale, sustainable change by broadening and diversifying the education advocacy movement.