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NYCJA Frequently Asked Questions

NYCJA Frequently Asked Questions

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Is this a virtual program?

The program is no longer virtual and has resumed complete in-person engagements as of September 2022. However, we understand the pandemic has demonstrated a need for flexibility. As such, the program does have the capacity to host virtual engagements per the request of the school and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What are the program benefits?

Participating classrooms will take part in a free curated tour of the United Nations headquarters and a briefing from an expert matched to the participants' curricular interests. Participants will also receive a visit to their classroom from a United Nations diplomat who will share their experiences and answer questions. Participants will have an opportunity to connect with an NYC Agency reflecting their thematic area of focus.  Finally, students will share their learning at a year-end event celebration with the entire cohort of NYC Junior Ambassadors. All participants will also receive a program certificate acknowledging participation as a NYC Junior Ambassador. Cohorts will receive a stipend to support their community related projects. Additional external engagements and opportunities with our partners are also available.

Is there a fee to participate in the program?

No. NYC Junior Ambassadors is free to all participating schools and afterschool programs. However, we are not responsible for miscellaneous costs such as bus service to the United Nations that might be incurred by participating schools that choose to travel by bus. Bus service to the year-end event will be provided by the program.

What are the key program activities?

NYC Junior Ambassadors has six mandatory program activities that are geared toward engaging both educators and their students. These activities are classroom-based learning about the United Nations, curated tours of the United Nations, diplomatic visits to classrooms, professional development for educators, NYC agency visits and the year-end project.

What is a NYCJA capstone?

Once accepted, your Junior Ambassadors will participate in activities of the program to work towards completion of an end-of-year project (capstone). Educators will provide students opportunities to brainstorm, design and implement their capstone to highlight what they have learned throughout the academic year. Capstones must reflect their knowledge on their topic of choice, the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the connection between local and global. It is recommended that civic engagement is incorporated in the capstones. Capstones can be used as indicators of growth and service and are presented to the City of New York, the United Nations, and the international community. Students and educators are free to reference this body of work for opportunities that foster their academic and professional growth.

Who can apply or participate?

NYC Junior Ambassadors is a program focused on empowering youth in the five boroughs of NYC. 7th, 8th and 9th grade educators from all subject areas working in schools or at after-school programs (i.e., teachers, after-school program managers, principals, guidance counselors) can apply. Educators must meet (in-person or virtually) with their students during school or after school days or can convene them on business days to participate in key program activities. The program is open to public and private schools, including charter schools and religious schools. Non-profits that engage with grades 7-9 can also apply to the program.

I run an after-school program at my school and think this would be a great program for the community. Can I apply on behalf of the after-school program without a formal classroom?

Yes! We encourage both school, afterschool, and non-traditional programs to apply. Please note that participants must be in the seventh, eighth or ninth grade attending school in New York City.

I am a parent and think this program is fantastic! Can my child apply?

Please note that we do not accept applications from individual students or parents. However, we do encourage your child’s grade teacher or school to apply on behalf of the classroom.

I am a teacher affiliated with a school outside of NYC. Can I apply to the program?

No. We do not accept applications from institutions outside of New York City. Schools applying must be in Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens, or Staten Island.

Is this program limited to DOE-affiliated schools only?

No. All 7th through 9th grade classrooms within NYC are encouraged to apply. We welcome private, religious, and alternative schools to apply.

What do I need to apply?

Applying to NYC Junior Ambassadors is as easy as filling out a brief online application form! The form includes questions about the school/afterschool program and the classroom. We also require that the educator briefly describe how they will include the UN in their curriculum. For example, a science teacher might wish to focus on climate change by developing lesson plans that teach youth about the issue and actions they can take to protect the environment while exposing them to global initiatives the UN is undertaking on climate action. The program is competitive and as such we encourage responses to be concise and thoughtful.

What is the selection timeline?

Applications officially open on October 23rd, 2023. Application deadline is extended to Friday, December 2023. Applications will be thoroughly reviewed by our team and decisions will be emailed to schools in mid-December 2023. The 2024 cohort will be announced shortly thereafter with the program orientation to begin January 2024.

Do you offer individuals application deadline extensions?

No, there are no extensions for individual applications. Accepting one late application would mean that all late applications would need to be accepted. All applications should be submitted by the deadline.

If I have applied in the past but I wasn't selected, can I apply again?

Yes! We only have the capacity to accept twenty schools for 2024. We come across great, thoughtful, and unique applications making the process quite competitive. If you were not selected in the past, we do encourage you to reapply the following program year.

I participated in the previous cohort as an educator or entity. Can I apply again this year?

Yes. The program is open to all alumni educators, including those educators who participated during the previous program year(s).