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.

All program activities will be held 1 school day a month August-Dec for the fall semester and Jan-May for the spring semester. We’re looking to host these 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 schedule around all 5 high school activities and schedule with our community partners, your understanding in making this possible is appreciated.

Important Dates for 2021 Spring Semester are as follows:

Jan 29 close of applications. We have a 25 student maximum

Feb 1 6:30PM zoom parent/student meeting option A

Feb 2 6:30 zoom parent/student meeting option B

Feb 9-Industry Day-Meet at Boys and Girls Club by 8:30AM

March 9-Community Day-Meet at Chamber by 8:30AM

April 13-Healthcare Day-Meet at Chamber by 8:30AM

May 11-Tourism Day-Meet at the Boys and Girls club by 8:30 AM

The purpose of the CYA program is for youth to experience all the things our community offers as a great place to work, live, and visit. We will highlight the very unique areas, careers, and businesses in our region to spark interest in possible career choices and choices for higher education to obtain specific careers, as well as careers that follow a vocational route too. We’ll explore parts of our region that bring people here for vacation and how these attractions support our community. We will also meet with our local governments to learn more about what it takes to make all these things work together. We want to build the knowledge these youth have so when they leave this area either for school, work, or just vacation, and when someone asks them where they’re from, they’ll have not only an answer but a platform of information to share as well. The Boys & Girls Club of Elizabethton/Carter County will be our transportation sponsor and drive us all our activities for 2 days of trips each semester. There are 2 meetings that will be held at the chamber and we’ll be on foot to our destinations. Lunch will be provided. Students will need to meet for our program days of trips at our designated meeting place (either the Boys and Girls club or Chamber) by 8:30 AM, we will return by 2 PM as to allow for travel time back to school/home for after school activities. Students can be juniors or seniors, have a reasonable GPA ( 2.7 or higher, but we aren’t sticklers as long as they’ve got a good attitude) have excellent conduct, and a good attitude.

Breakdown of Events

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

February 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.

March 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.

April 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.

May 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.

Begin your application by clicking “Apply Now” below. Once we review and approve your application we will notify you and ask that your parent or guardian submit the $125 program fee and and complete a release form. If you request and receive a scholarship we will deliver via email a code to redeem the scholarship amount awarded.