Apply For Congressional Leadership Academy Today

Hello, current foster youth, and alums of foster care! We invite you to apply to be a Foster Youth Shadow Day Delegate for the 2023 Congressional Leadership Academy Program in Washington, D.C.

Click here to apply.

To learn more, keep reading.

The Congressional Leadership Academy Program is an opportunity for young people to participate in a robust 10-month leadership experience that connects foster youth to decision-makers. Throughout this ten-month experience, Delegates will learn about specific topics centered in NFYI’s policy agenda and priorities to the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth (CCFY).

Delegates can create change through dialogue and building relationships with their Members of Congress. They can share their experiences to help inform legislation and policy recommendations specific to NFYI’s policy focus for the year.

PLEASE NOTE: This commitment runs from February 2023-October 2023, with our Congressional Shadow Day taking place on either June 3rd-June 9 or June 10-June 16, 2023, depending on the house schedule. Please also note that these dates could be subject to change, but we will do our due diligence to notify you as much as we can in advance.

Shadow Day Program Delegates will represent thousands of current foster youth and alumni of foster care across the nation. Participating in the Congressional Leadership Academy allows current foster youth or foster care alums and policymakers to meet and learn from one another.

Throughout the next five months, all participants will attend online training, huddles, and webinars to prepare for their meetings with policymakers in person in June. The curricula will include an overview of federal foster care policy, community organizing, and guidance on how to speak to decision-makers. In addition, Delegates will gain a deeper understanding of what committees, caucuses, and the day in the life of a MOC are like while developing an agreement on how the Federal Govt operates and connects to state govt.

It is vital that completing this application is done intentionally and thoughtfully, as your interest form is under consideration with others across the nation. Suppose you are not selected for this year’s Congressional Leadership Academy. In that case, you may place on a waitlist for consideration, and we encourage you to apply next year.

The ongoing pandemic and ever-changing restrictions around in-person events, social distancing, and vaccine restrictions influenced NFYI’s planning. Given that safety is our number one priority is the health and safety of all people, NFYI members, volunteers, and staff, so with that, we have decided to scale down this year of 2023. We will only be able to bring up to 50 Delegates to D.C. to participate in the in-person Shadow Day experience. Choosing to downsize took a lot of work for us. However, we are still grateful to be able to offer the Leadership Academy Program this year.