FEMA is seeking youngsters from this area (Region IV) for its National Youth Preparedness Council. Youth may apply through March 8.

FEMA seeks young leaders for national council

With temperatures in the 40s and 50s, warm weather activities are probably the last thing on your mind, but it’s not too early for students and parents to start making plans for summer.

Local, state and national organizations offer summer internships and work opportunities for middle and high school students.

For example, FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is seeking youngsters from this area (Region IV) for its National Youth Preparedness Council. Youth from communities across the Southeast are encouraged to apply for FEMA’s national Youth Preparedness Council. Formed in 2012, the council provides an opportunity for young leaders to share their perspectives, feedback, and opinions related to preparedness, and grow their leadership skills.

YPC members meet with FEMA staff throughout their two-year term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects. YPC members also attend the annual YPC Summit in Washington, D.C., meet regularly with FEMA representatives, and complete several emergency preparedness projects.

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This year, YPC members are working on projects for financial preparedness, citizen responder programs, and youth preparedness education.

Students in eighth through 11th grades must submit a completed application form, two letters of recommendation, academic records, and a list of extracurricular activities. All applications and supporting materials must be received before 9 p.m. on March 8. Students who apply for the national Youth Preparedness Council also will be considered for the Region IV Youth Preparedness Council.

“FEMA’s Youth Preparedness Council is developing the next generation of emergency managers and community leaders. These teens recognize the importance of preparedness and are making their communities safer and more resilient,” said Gracia Szczech, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region IV, which includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

The Youth Preparedness Council application website was recently revamped with a fresh look and enhanced user experience. Teens are now encouraged to share their academic achievements, ways they have positively influenced their communities, and any leadership experiences.

Council members are selected based on these criteria, as well as extracurricular activities and any experience related to preparedness and emergency management.

New council members will be announced in May.

“With approximately 70 million children under the age of 18 in the United States, children comprise nearly one-quarter of the entire U.S. population,” said FEMA Administrator Pete Gaynor. “Building a culture of preparedness begins with engaging our youth. I am proud of our program that helps to build a new generation of leaders who are passionate about championing preparedness and making a difference in their communities.”

To learn more about the Youth Preparedness Council and the application process, go to ready.gov/kids/youth-preparedness-council.

Youth may apply through a written or video response at https://community.fema.gov/applytoYPC.

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