What are the requirements to be a delegate to the Rural Youth Assembly Summit?

  1. 16-24 years old and represent a rural community or Native Nation
  2. Interested in rural issues and want to work with other young people to impact your community. You do not need to be an expert! We are looking for passionate leaders that care about their communities and that represent a diverse mix of rural geographies and backgrounds, including income, race, culture, faith, accessibility, gender, and sexual orientation.
  3. Committed to maintaining a positive working relationship with your sponsoring organization or program, high school, or university and to returning home and continuing to serve your community in some manner.
  4. Committed to the integrity of our work over the three-day event and willing to uphold our ground rules and expectations for the Assembly.

How do you apply to be a delegate to the Rural Youth Assembly Summit?

To apply, please complete and submit the application from online here. To complete the application you will need to submit:

  • 1 letter of recommendation from your sponsoring organization’s executive director, program manager, faculty member, teacher, youth worker, guidance counselor, etc.
  • a 1-2 page response to the short essay questions. We ask that you submit your responses in typed form, with 12-point font. We recognize that pen and paper or typing methods of writing are not accessible nor advantageous to everyone. We encourage you to utilize whatever tools and approach works best for you. If speech to text or other format is how you communicate your ideas then please do so. We encourage you to have someone look over your application before you submit it but you will not be penalized for formatting or grammatical mishaps. We care about your ideas and why you want to come to the Assembly, not in critiquing the level or quality of your writing skills. You also shouldn’t feel that you must completely fill two pages, if you’re able to tell us your ideas in a paragraph or

If you are not able to complete the application and letter of recommendation online then please download the attached PDF version here, complete the application and email it to Mary Sketch at mary@ruralstrategies.org. If you do not have access to a computer and cannot submit your application online or by email please let us know. We’re happy to work with you to ensure that you’re able to submit your application. You can contact Mary Sketch at 919-402-7241 or mary@ruralstrategies.org, or Kim Phinney at 802-922-2274 or Kimberly.phinney@gmail.com, with any questions about the application process. 

All applications are due by Friday, January 31, 2020 at 5 p.m. EDT.

The Review Process and Event Logistics

  • All completed applications will be reviewed by members of the Rural Assembly Team and decisions will be made collaboratively by the team.
  • Selection criteria will be based on the young person’s perceived commitment to rural issues and desire to change their communities, plus ability to contribute to a diverse representation of youth voices across the country.
  • Given the limited number of slots for this event, a delegate waiting list will be created as part of the selection process.
  • Selected delegates will be notified by February 12, 2020. Waiting list delegates will also be notified on this date.
  • All delegates will be asked to confirm their participation by Wednesday, February 19, 2020.
  • The Rural Assembly will arrange all travel for delegates in communication with their sponsoring organization, guardian, or family member as appropriate.
  • All travel reservations will be completed by early March. We understand that some delegates may be flying and traveling alone for the first time. Every youth delegate will be met at the airport and will be with event staff throughout the duration of the event. In addition, each delegate and emergency contact will have the names and cell numbers of staff that can be reached 24 hours a day throughout the event.
  • The Summit is being held in an accessible hotel and event staff will work with delegates needing accommodations.
  • Covered expenses include all airfare, hotel room costs, transportation while at the event, and meals starting with dinner on Thursday, April 2 through breakfast on Sunday, April 5.
  • Delegates or their sponsoring organizations are responsible for all incidental expenses (souvenirs, entertainment, extra snacks, etc.), ground transportation to and from your home airport, and miscellaneous meal expenses while traveling.