Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania

The Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania (YAP) Program seeks to build community stewards and civic leaders by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to not only Fight Dirty in their communities, but also to become ambassadors of our shared vision of a clean and beautiful Pennsylvania. Over eight months, the program will engage students in 10th through 12th grades from diverse socio-economic, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Every ambassador will receive Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful merchandise and cleanup supplies as part of the program.

Download the 2023-2024 program flyer (.pdf)

The application is now closed for the 2023-24 school year, but check back next spring for the next year's Ambassador application! All applicants will also be notified of the selection committee's decision as well. Thank you for caring about your community!

 

NEW For 23-24: Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is excited to announce a new collaboration with NiSource and Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania!

Through this collaboration, KPB will offer Ambassadors a webinar focused on sustainability, led by the company’s Environmental Department. Students will also have two opportunities to apply to participate in a job shadowing experience in the spring of 2024 in Pennsylvania. Selected participants will have the opportunity to meet with local Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania employees and accompany them in the field to learn the day-to-day responsibilities. More details to come!

WHAT IS THE GOAL THE YOUNG AMBASSADORS OF PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAM?
The Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania Program will:
  1. Build community stewardship by inspiring, engaging, and empowering young Pennsylvanians to keep their communities clean and beautiful.
  2. Develop civic leaders to champion and advocate for clean and beautiful communities across Pennsylvania.
HOW DOES THE PROGRAM DO THAT?
Over the eight-month program, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful will guide Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania through a six-step process to implement change in their community. The six-step process, originally developed by Earth Force, is as follows:
  1. Complete a Community Assessment - focusing on waste reduction and recycling, greening and beautification, litter and illegal dumping, community revitalization, and environmental education. What services and programs are available in your community?
  2. Select an issue. What littering or illegal dumping issue do you want to work on?
  3. Policy and Community Practice Research: What are people already doing about this issue?
  4. Options for Influencing Policy and Practice: What are your choices for making a difference with this issue?
  5. Planning and Taking Civic Action: What are your plans for making a change?
  6. Looking Back and Ahead: How did everything go? What will you do next? Identify what people are already doing.
WHO CAN BE A YOUNG PENNSYLVANIA AMBASSADOR?
  • Any student in 10th-12th grade
  • Students will be chosen per year from diverse racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful is committed to ensuring equitable representation among program participants and will target outreach efforts to environmental justice communities.
PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
  • Attend All Required Education and Training Sessions.
  • Conduct a Community Assessment and complete summary presentation.
  • Conduct and report on one community cleanup through the Pick UP Pennsylvania program.
  • Conduct and report on one community education event or activity.
WHY BECOME AN AMBASSADOR
  • Network with like-minded peers from across the state.
  • Form connections with public officials, elected officials, and industry experts.
  • Attend educational meetings that will provide information on understanding the impact of litter on roadways, litter prevention, event organizing, waste management and recycling, civic engagement and related public policy, volunteer management and social media marketing.
WHY FOCUS ON LITTER?
  • Litter impacts quality of life, the natural environment and economic development in communities across Pennsylvania. According to the 2019 Litter Study, Pennsylvania roadways are littered with approximately 502.5 million pieces of litter, consisting of an estimated:
    • 9 million plastic film items (food packaging, trash bags and other trash bags)
    • 3 million beverage containers
    • 2 million cigarette butts
  • PennDOT spends nearly 14 million dollars picking up litter on one hundred and fifty thousand acres of state maintained roadsides annually. As part of the recently released State Litter Action Plan, PennDOT and state agency partners have committed to investing in litter prevention and education. The Young Ambassadors of Pennsylvania is a program designed to not only educate young people, but to develop them as community stewards and civic leaders- both a worthwhile investment in Pennsylvania’s future.

Have questions? Please contact Kylie McCutcheon, Affiliate Coordinator, at kmccutcheon@keeppabeautiful.org or 724-836-4121 ext. 114.

Sponsored by:

Meet the Young Ambassadors Class of 2023-2024!