Applications are available for the city's second annual Youth Civic Leadership Academy (YCLA), a free six-week course designed to educate and engage high school students about the inner-workings of city government.
The YCLA program was launched last year, based on the Civic Leadership Academy, a similar program available twice yearly to city adults. Both programs are initiatives of the servePGH service plan.
"Our goal is to connect with high school students through fun, hands-on, interactive activities that will show them the importance of city government and public service," Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. "This year, I have grown the program to include fifty participants, who I hope will gain a stronger sense of pride and accomplishment that will lay the foundation for them to become informed, effective and inspired civic leaders."
The sessions will highlight different city departments and the services they provide that help make Pittsburgh the most livable city. City directors will develop their sessions with tours, hands-on demonstrations and fun activities to provide an up-close and personal view of how their department helps to operate the city. At the conclusion of the course, the mayor will lead a graduation ceremony where participants will be awarded certificates.
The program will take place on six consecutive Wednesday evenings between July 11 and August 15 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The city will provide bus/shuttle transportation to sessions held outside the Downtown area, as well as Port Authority bus passes for all sessions.
Applicants must be a high school student residing within Pittsburgh city limits at the time of application. Special consideration will be given to applicants who are highly motivated, interested in community service and civic engagement, and committed to using the experience to make a positive difference in their neighborhood and/or school communities.
Interested youth may apply online at cla.pittsburghpa.gov or request a hard copy application by calling or emailing the Mayor's Office of Service & Civic Engagement. Applications must be received no later than 5 p.m. on May 31; late applications will not be accepted. Applicants will be notified of their status by mid-June 2012.
Throughout the course, participants will reflect on their experience and will be provided with the opportunity to develop a group service project that is based on their experience in the program.
To date, more than 100 Pittsburgh residents have participated in the Mayor's Civic Leadership Academy. Past service projects have included a community garden planting, a recycling awareness campaign, a playground rehab in East Carnegie, and the facilitation of small business district revitalization discussions in partnership with the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
For more information, visit cla.pittsburghpa.gov, call 412-255-2280, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.