FAQs: Youth Leadership Team | American Battlefield Trust
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FAQs: Youth Leadership Team

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Find answers to frequently asked questions about the American Battlefield Trust's Youth Leadership Team

Who can I contact at the Trust for more information? 

If you have questions regarding your application or the Youth Leadership Team program please contact the program coordinator, Connor Townsend, at ctownsend@battlefields.org

What is the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team?

The American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is a rotating group of 10 young people, aged 15-18, who will serve as the youth face and voice of the American Battlefield Trust. YLT members are selected every year to participate in Lobby Day, create preservation, education, or visitation projects in their local communities, and attend our annual conference.

By supporting this group of motivated young leaders, we hope to create a ripple effect for battlefield preservation, visitation, history education in our nation. Our goal is for young people to connect and empower each other to create change within their own schools and communities.

What is a member of the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team required to do?

  • Members of the YLT are required to attend three in-person meetings, two at our Washington D.C. office and one off-site at our annual conference location. These meetings are non-negotiable. Applicants must commit to attending all three meetings to be accepted into the program.
  • Members of the YLT are required to participate in a youth lobby day on Capitol Hill where they will meet with their lawmakers to promote battlefield and historic preservation. 
  • Members of the YLT are required to plan and execute a battlefield preservation, education, or visitation project in their local community.
  • Members of the YLT will create at least two articles for battlefields.org, 5+ social media posts, and 5+ pieces of photography or video content.
  • Members of the YLT must be able to travel independently.  

Who can join the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team?

  • All applicants between the ages of 15-18, currently enrolled in high school are eligible to apply for the YLT.
  • All applicants must be a citizen of the United States and live within the United States.   
  • All applicants must be able/willing to travel independently to the three onsight meetings. Travel, accommodations, and food will not be provided for guardians who wish to travel to the meetings with their child. 

What time commitment is required to be part of the 2020-2021 American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team?

We estimate you will be committed to 12 days of in-person events. In any given week, we expect Team members to participate in 3 hours on our online community. Individual projects could take 40-60 hours total.

  • All YLT members are required to attend three multi-day in-person meetings in Washington, D.C.
    • Meeting #1: Training - August 6-8, 2020 (4 days with travel)
    • Meeting #2: Lobby Day - September 15-17, 2020 (4 days with travel)
    • Meeting #3: Annual Conference - May 20-23 or June 3-6 or June 10-13, 2021 (Final Date TBD) 
      (4 days with travel)
  • All YLT members are required to be active on the YLT online community, communicating with their peers and the program coordinator. (Approx. 2 hours per week)
  • YLT members are required to plan and execute a battlefield preservation, education, or visitation project in their local community. (Approx. 40-60 hours total)

How can I apply to be part of the 2020-2021 American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team?

To apply to be part of the 2020-2021 cycle of the American Battlefield Trust YLT, please attach the three items described below to an email with the subject line [Applicant Name] YLT 2020-2021 to the Youth Leadership Team program coordinator, Connor Townsend, at ctownsend@battlefields.org.  

  • An essay about why the mission of the American Battlefield Trust matters to you and a hypothetical battlefield project you could organize in your community. The essay should be no more than 500 words. (Note: You are not committed to the project you propose in your essay, but what you propose must be feasible in your community.) 
    • American Battlefield Trust Mission: The American Battlefield Trust seeks to preserve our nation’s hallowed battlegrounds and educate the public about what happened there and why it matters today. We permanently protect these battlefields for future generations as a lasting and tangible memorial to the brave soldiers who fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, and the Civil War.
  • A reference and letter of recommendation from a community sponsor. This can be a coach, teacher, community program leader, religious leader, etc… (Note: Your reference cannot be your guardian or an immediate family member.)
  • A signed form from yourself and a guardian committing to the three in-person meetings.  Download the commitment form here. Attendance at the three in-person meetings is a requirement for participation.
    • Meeting #1: Training - August 6-8, 2020 (4 days with travel)
    • Meeting #2: Lobby Day - September 15-17, 2020 (4 days with travel)
    • Meeting #3: Annual Conference - May 20-23 or June 3-6 or June 10-13, 2021 (Final Date TBD) 
      (4 days with travel)

Please attach the three documents listed above to an email with the subject line [Applicant Name] YLT 2020-2021 to the Youth Leadership Team Program Coordinator, Connor Townsend, at ctownsend@battlefields.org.

What can you expect after you submit your application?

  • You will receive an email confirming that we have received your application with a link to a demographic survey.
    • NOTE: You must complete the demographic survey in order to progress to the next step. If you do not complete the demographic survey you will not be contacted for a phone interview. 
  • You will be contacted within the application period, January - April 30th, 2020, to arrange a phone interview or be informed that you have not been chosen to participate in this cycle of the YLT.
  • The final 10 YLT candidates will be alerted to their acceptance no later than May, 4th 2020.

How are applications evaluated?

We make final selections based on the following criteria:

  1. Completeness of applications submitted only by applicants.
  2. Quality of answer to the essay question with an emphasis on the project idea.
  3. Quality of the letter of recommendation.
  4. Geographic spread and diversity in the team. We are looking for a good representation of the United States. All other things being equal, we will attempt to fill the team with people and places not already represented.

Is there a financial burden to participate in the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team?

  • Members of the YLT will have the cost to attend the three in-person meetings covered in full. This includes travel, hotel, food, and event costs.
  • If a guardian accompanies a YLT member to an event, their travel, accommodation, and meals will not be covered. 
  • Each YLT member will receive a $350 stipend for their community project. If necessary, we encourage YLT members to fundraise within their communities if their project costs exceed the stipend amount.

What type of battlefield preservation, education or visitation projects are the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team participants expected to organize?

We encourage YLT members to be creative and create a project that reflects their community. For inspiration, please reference the ideas below;

  • Organize a battlefield cleanup day
  • Removal of litter or invasive or non-historical plants
  • Fence repair
  • Signage creation
  • Identify witness trees and create site-appropriate interpretation for them
  • Write an article in the school or local newspaper about the history of a battlefield and/or the people who were touched by that history
  • Collect and present local oral history related to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, or Civil War. Turn these stories into a podcast, website, Instagram account, or video series
  • Write and produce a play on local battlefield history
  • Gather local Civil War, War of 1812, or Revolutionary War artifacts for a local exhibition
  • Fundraise within your community to organize a battlefield tour

What are the benefits of being an American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team member?

  • Three all-costs-covered trips to Washington, D.C., including attendance to the American Battlefield Trust Annual Conference.
  • Media and policy training
  • Funding for a local battlefield project
  • At least four days of battlefield tours/hikes
  • Direct connection to one of the most effective battlefield preservation organizations in the United States
  • Resume and college application booster
  • Complimentary five-year membership to the American Battlefield Trust
  • 1/2 price registration to an American Battlefield Trust Annual Conference of your choice to be used within the next eight years
  • Lifetime discount to the American Battlefield Trust online store