NMAC’s Youth Initiative (YI) is sponsored by ViiV Healthcare and partnered with Advocates for Youth. The program aims to assist young leaders in the fight to end the HIV epidemic, in becoming more effective and informed health advocates, and empowering them to become more active in their communities. Each year the program selects 30 qualified youths ages 21-25, both living with HIV and HIV negative allies to build their capacity to partner with a local community agency. This partnership provides education for youth to influence HIV prevention and service delivery in their communities. Youth Scholars will take part in various events through their tenure including webinars and conference call to help further develop their skills and knowledge to prepare them to lead the efforts to end the HIV epidemic in their communities and across the country. Active youth scholars will be given the opportunity for onsite training during the USCA conference, where they will be able to meet the other youth scholars and have closed sessions targeted to youth empowerment and leadership development.

Onsite Training Overview

Youth Scholars will have the opportunity to participate in the three day in-person training to prepare them for their World AIDS Day community projects.

The in-person trainings are conducted in closed sessions during USCA. Youth Initiative scholars will be given key tools and skills needed to partner with local HIV organizations. This dynamic partnership increases youth visibility and programming directed for young people. Through their community organization partnerships scholars will conduct a mini youth needs assessment on the needs of youth accessing HIV care and prevention services in their community (May – August). Youth scholars will use the results of the needs assessment and design an HIV-related project for World AIDS Day (December 1). Projects will be based on the youth scholars’ interests in HIV care and/or prevention. YI scholars must play a significant leadership role in their World AIDS Day Project (September-December).

During their time at USCA, YI scholars will gain skills and information to support their projects from dynamic sessions such as:

  • Leadership Development for Youth Champions in today’s HIV Movement
  • Using Widgets for Whatever: Social Media Tells a Story and Reaches Many
  • “I am Victorious” How to Own Your Story
  • Hanging with Paul Kawata: “Envisioning Tomorrow”

Legend-ins & Young-ins – An Intergenerational Dialogue of Leaders
NMAC’s Youth Initiative believes in community empowerment and engagement. With this in mind, all interested conference attendees are invited to join an in-depth dialogue on leadership. This open-door session is designed to create a shared opportunity for participants to discuss the importance of working in collaboration across the generational space in HIV leadership. The dialogue will look at how the community has shaped programs, policies, and advocacy to meet the needs of people of all ages who are living with HIV. Seasoned and new youth advocates will present key concerns and challenges in creating a shared vision to identify meaningful solutions in the HIV epidemic.

Program Expectation:

All participants accepted into the Youth Initiative program will be expected to engage fully in the entire program. Review the following program expectations to ensure you can abide by all the considerations.

Key Commitments of Youth Scholars

  1. Be available for conference calls and webinars
  2. Be willing to learn to administer youth needs assessment
  3. Partner with local HIV prevention/care organizations to support youth in your local community
  4. Write two (2) HIV awareness educational blog/media releases
  5. Be available and willing to devote four (4) days for on-site training Sept. 2019.
  6. Work with NMAC and Partners in coordination of follow up mentoring and coaching support.
  7. Create World AIDS Day Project
  8. Be willing to partner and work in teams with other youth and youth leaders