2018 Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program
Greetings young leader!  We invite you to apply to the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program in Washington, D.C. May 20th - 24th, 2018 by filling out the following form.
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About the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program
The Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program is an all-expenses paid opportunity for young people with personal experience in the foster care system to spend time with their Congressional representative, as well as White House officials, in Washington, D.C.  The dates of associated travel and events are Sunday, May 20th through Thursday, May 24th, 2018.
Participating in the Shadow Program allows youth and policymakers to meet and learn from one another. Young people in and from foster care will be able to speak to and learn about Congress and the White House while gaining a “hands-on” understanding about how the U.S. government operates on a daily basis. Members of Congress are able to listen to the perspectives of young people and gain a well-rounded understanding of the experiences of youth in foster care, which will help them as they pursue policies that impact all foster youth.
Additionally, youth are invited to participate in many activities with policymakers including committee hearings, press events, and meetings. Congressional Shadow Day offers young people and Congressional Members the opportunity to work together to improve the foster care system.
Before the Shadow Day, all participants will attend a mandatory two-day National Leadership Corps Training Academy to prepare for their meetings with policymakers. This training will include an overview of federal foster care policy, practice in sharing your story, community organizing and team building.

Through this opportunity, youth participants will develop a deeper understanding of roles in the policy arena, interact with their peers in a unique space and have a dynamic experience to add to their resumes.
*Will be 18-30 years old on or before May 20th, 2018

*Spent time in an out-of-home placement (foster care, group home, kinship home, etc.)

*Have a willingness to learn, as well as play a leadership role for youth and alumni of foster care

*Has a government issued picture ID (needed for travel)

*Be available on Sunday, May 20th through Thursday, May 24th

*Be open to shadowing a Member of Congress whose political party and/or views may vary from your own

*Be willing to remain engaged in ongoing advocacy for foster youth after the Shadow Program

NOTE: Past Shadow Program participants are not eligible to apply.

If you have any questions, or have trouble with the application, please contact us at ShadowDay@nfyi.org.
Selection Process
The Shadow Program application deadline is Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 (must be submitted by midnight). Forms received by that deadline will be the first considered for placements in the Shadow Program.

Selections are made primarily based on each participant's Congressional Member's interest and availability. Some participants will be matched to Congressional Members that represent districts where the participant has spent time in foster care. While our team will make every effort to match youth with their Member of Congress, it is important to note that there is a possibility that participants might be invited to shadow a Member from a different state or district than their own. We appreciate your flexibility with this process.

The Shadow Program team will begin making selections throughout the month of March. Applicants will be contacted, whether or not you are selected, by March 30th. Some selections could be made after March 30th, depending on Congressional Member's availability.

Note: Completing the application does not guarantee selection to attend the Congressional Foster Youth Shadow Program.  

If you have any questions, or have trouble with the application, please contact us at ShadowDay@nfyi.org.
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