Scholars for Youth Advocacy


Illinois Wesleyan education majors
fye youth

Our Scholars for Youth Advocacy program is designed for first year students and will engage you in campus and community activities that explore the complexities of advocacy for youth in our community. Even more, our Scholars for Youth Advocacy program gives you an opportunity to personally collaborate with local non-profit agencies that support youth in our community. Through SYA, you have the chance to learn about the everyday challenges of youth and to discover avenues for advocacy. If you are passionate about helping others; if you want to learn more about what you can do so support youth; if you believe in the power of advocacy, SYA is for you!


So, what’s involved? As a Scholar for Youth Advocacy, you will:

  • Be part of a small team of students enrolled in the Education and Social Justice course who meet regularly to brainstorm and then investigate a social justice issue focused on youth;
  • Work in your team for the entire year to choose a community organization and then work directly with that organization to advocate for community youth
  • Meet bi-weekly with faculty to learn about community resources and social justice issues
  • Attend two day-long retreats, one in the spring, and one in the fall
  • Take a variety of field trips (e.g., to Chicago to attend the Teaching for Social Justice Curriculum Fair, to Springfield, IL, to advocate directly with our legislators, to local non-profits to learn about the services they provide)
  • Engage in campus activities related to social justice and advocacy
  • Meet with dedicated alumni and professionals who work in the field of youth advocacy

In addition, you will have the opportunity to take part in an alternative spring break project that you help to design with your team based on your passions and interests. At the end of this year-long experience, you and your fellow Scholars for Youth Advocacy team members will have the opportunity to share what you have learned with faculty, staff, and other students on campus through IWU’s annual student research conference. As an indication of how much these types of real-world experiences are valued on our campus, the activities associated with the Scholars for Youth Advocacy program carry course credit.

To apply for SYA, simply fill out the application link and provide a brief answer to the question. We look forward to meeting you in the fall and working with you as we continue our ongoing advocacy on behalf of all youth.


Click here to apply.