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
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
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
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.