What is CYA?

Chamber Youth Ambassador (CYA) program is very different than the previous Youth Leadership program. Some highlights are that this program up is broken into semesters and it will offer opportunities for 50-80 hours of community service (students can do as many or as little as needed), offers a letter of recommendation for a job or college, as well as the use of Chamber as a reference for a job or school.

The CYA program is open to all rising juniors and seniors. All program activities will be held 1 school day a month August-Dec for the fall semester and Jan-May for the spring semester. School year sessions will be hosted on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, each month, (except the initial parent meeting). There is a written application as well as a video component. We only require that students have a letter of recommendation from ANY of their current class scheduled teachers to apply. We understand that there may be conflicts with our scheduled dates and will have an option to make up the program day the following semester or watch the program virtually. We try our best to work around all high school activities and schedule with our community partners. Your understanding in making this possible is appreciated.

Breakdown of Events

Meeting and sign-ups: Parents, students, and educators are welcome to join as we go over the program, expectations, sign releases, and accept tuition payments. ($125 for the entire program Covers all transportation from Chamber and back, food, and materials. Scholarships are available.) We will go over the “house rules” and answer questions. We will be meeting on zoom with 2 options to choose to meet.

Industry We’ll go to the industrial park and visit leaders in the manufacturing industry to learn how products made, shipped, and created right here in our back yard that ends up all over the world. We hope this will spark interest in going into Manufacturing. For some of our youth that traditional college may not be for them, but a program at TCAT or NESCC may be a better fit.

Community We’ll visit with our local government and officials to learn about what they each do, how their work serves our community, and how our community functions. We’ll be meeting our local officials, mayors, movers and shakers, big dreamers, and entrepreneurs. We’ll hear about what it takes to make our community work, how these dreamers got started, and brainstorm ideas to bring new businesses to Carter County.

Healthcare We’ll visit leaders in healthcare from our region to learn about careers in their field as well as some interesting things going on in our community today (pandemic). We will also visit with Frontier Health to speak to our youth about teen suicide, A&D prevention, and how to get help when they need it.

Tourism We’ll be visiting area attractions that people from all over the world travel to visit in Carter County. We’ll learn about what it takes to maintain and keep the 100.1 miles of Appalachian Trail that runs through Carter County safe as well as safety on the waterways. We’ll learn about the history of the Watauga and Wilbur dams and what makes them unique.

Application Process

Required Materials
  • Letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor at your school.
  • 3 minutes or less video about your favorite thing to do in Carter County related to tourism. Also tell us about yourself and what you’re most interested in learning about through this program.

Interested in applying?
Applications will open soon for our Fall 2021 session.
Fill out the form below to be notified when more information is available.