1. What is the Youth Justice Leadership Institute?
The Institute is a project of the National Juvenile Justice Network (NJJN). It’s a year-long leadership development program for juvenile justice reform advocates, during which Institute fellows participate in distance learning activities from their home locations, attend two in-person training sessions (approximately three-and-a-half days during the work week in both September and March), and complete an advocacy or organizing project.
2. Who is eligible to participate?
Each participant will be an emerging professional of color residing in the continental United States who has demonstrated a commitment to the youth and families involved in the juvenile justice system.
In future years, we intend that the cohort of participants will also include family members and young people who have first-hand experience with a juvenile justice system.
3. What mentoring will I receive during the Institute?
NJJN will recruit and match you with a primary mentor. With the support and encouragement of NJJN staff, you will need to secure at least one -- and preferably, two -- auxiliary mentors.
Mentors will provide context and support for learning activities; offer strategic advice related to your advocacy project; connect you to current leaders in the field, help relate your work and goals to your specific community and state systems; and give general guidance.
4. What is required of successful applicants?
The successful applicant must:
- be an emerging professional of color
- be affiliated with an organization serving or advocating for those directly affected by the juvenile justice system;
- be able to demonstrate involvement in reform activities;
- have a desire to lead efforts to reform/transform the juvenile justice system;
- have access to basic technology;
- have demonstrated leadership abilities;
- reside in the continental United States;
- be willing and able to commit to the full year of the Institute and all related activities;
- submit a proposal for an advocacy or organizing project to be completed during the year.
5. Applicants must be “affiliated” with an organization. What does that mean?
This means that you are connected with an organization serving or advocating for those directly affected by the juvenile justice system. This organization will serve as your “home” during the year, providing in-kind support for your involvement. It may be your employer, but does not have to be.
Examples of in-kind support may include work space, access to technology and office equipment, access to staff or volunteer development resources, and provision of information on reform efforts.
To complete your application, you will need to ask a representative of the affiliating organization to fill out and submit the Organizational Affiliaton Form, which is part of the application packet, and can be downloaded from www.njjn.org.
6. What is required for the advocacy project?
The advocacy project provides an opportunity for each fellow to use the knowledge and skills they attain through the Institute in on-the-ground action. The actual project can take many forms. It can be one in which you are currently engaged or be newly-developed; it can be on a large or small scale, oriented around process (i.e. forming a coalition) or outcome (i.e. passage of legislation), etc. All projects, however, must be finished by the close of the Institute’s year-long program. Please keep this in mind as you craft your proposal. You will be supported by staff and mentors to ensure your project is completed.
7. What does my advocacy project proposal have to include?
Your proposal should include the project title, intended goal or outcome, discussion of a media strategy, preliminary identification of allies and adversaries, discussion of community engagement, and resources needed.
8. What does the Institute cost?
The tuition for the 12-month program is based on a sliding scale. The Institute has a scholarship fund so that lack of funds will never prevent an accepted fellow from participating.
Use the following annual salary guide to determine your tuition amount:
Annual Income Tuition
$0 - $30k $100
$31k - $40k $150
$41k - $50k $225
$51k + $330
There is no application fee. Travel costs are covered by the Institute.
9. Can I get a scholarship to help pay the tuition?
The Youth Justice Leadership Institute has a generous scholarship policy, and will find funds to cover all accepted applicants who need support.
10. How do I apply?
The application process involves three steps:
- Fill out an application form, which can be downloaded here. Your responses should be entered directly into the downloaded document, saved and submitted via email to email@example.com.
- Find two individuals who can speak to your commitment to juvenile justice reform and your leadership qualities. Ask them to fill out a nomination form and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Identify the organization with which you will be affiliated, then ask your contact or supervisor to fill out the letter of support form and e-mail it to email@example.com.
11. Do I have to work for a member of the National Juvenile Justice Network to apply?
12. Can I self-nominate?
You must be nominated by two members of your community who are familiar with your leadership potential, commitment to juvenile justice system reform, and ability to successfully complete the program year.
13. When are applications accepted?
Application materials are made available in March, with a deadline in early May.
14. Who will be chosen?
The top 10 applicants will be selected to be Institute fellows.
15. How will the fellows be chosen?
An applicant review committee, drawn from NJJN members and the Institute’s planning committee and advisory board, will evaluate all applications that pass an initial screening by staff. They will consider applicants’ prior experience, commitment to juvenile justice reform, ability to meet the requirements of the Institute curriculum, and potential for long-term success in the movement and success in the Institute. Semi-finalists will also participate in a 30-minute phone interview.
16. Do I have to commit to the entire program year?
17. Will I be paid for my participation in the Institute?
No. We do not provide direct financial support or payment to fellows.
18. Will I have to travel?
You will be expected to participate in the two in-person sessions scheduled during the project year. This will entail some travel. The Institute will cover all your travel expenses.
19. How are travel arrangements made for the in-person sessions?
Travel arrangements are made by Institute staff, based on your preferences. You must provide your preferences in a timely way, so that airfare can be booked no later than 30 days in advance of the trip. If you do not share your travel preferences within this timeframe, your travel will be only partially subsidized.
20. When does the Institute start?
Activities begin upon acceptance.
21. What is required of the fellows?
If selected, you will be required to undertake the following:
- complete all tasks assigned prior to the first in-person gathering;
- carry out your advocacy project;
- identify at least one -- and preferably two -- auxiliary mentors for your mentor team, and fully engage in these mentoring relationships;
- attend both in-person sessions;
- engage actively with and be responsive to Institute staff;
- participate in or complete approximately 80% of all distance learning activities (i.e. teleconferences, webinars, and group check-in calls); and
- participate in all evaluation activities.
22. How long would I have to find my mentors?
Ideally, you should have your auxiliary mentors in place by the September 1, 2013, and no later than by the time of the first in-person session..
23. Will I have to take time off from my job?
You will have to arrange to be absent from work in order to attend both of the in-person sessions, a total of approximately eight-and-a-half work days. Depending on the project, your advocacy project might also entail some days out of work.
24. When do I need to attend in-person sessions? What other dates should I keep in mind?
March 18, 2013
May 6, 2013
Application deadline (must include application form, two nomination forms, and organizational affiliation form)
June 24, 2013
Final acceptance decisions; offers extended to prospective fellows
July 1, 2013
Deadline for acceptance of offers by prospective fellows
First in-person Institute session
March 2014 (dates TBD)
Second in-person Institute session
Once monthly from Aug. 2013-June 2014
Contact between Institute fellows and mentors
Monthly from Aug. 2013-June 2014
Group check-in calls
Monthly from Aug. 2013-June 2014
Distance learning activities
July 2014 (dates TBD)
Alumni participation at the annual forum
25. How can I get more information?
26. Who can I speak with if I have more questions?
The Institute Coordinator, Diana Onley-Campbell, is happy to answer your questions. Contact her at 202-467-0864 x112, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.