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NYCJA Frequently Asked Questions

NYCJA Frequently Asked Questions

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What is NYC Junior Ambassadors?

NYC Junior Ambassadors is an initiative focused on empowering 7th graders in all five boroughs of New York City to become actively engaged with the United Nations and its mission of addressing the most pressing challenges in the world. The program leverages New York City's unique position as host city to the United Nations (UN) headquarters to enable youth to see themselves as global citizens. The UN is an organization working across the globe towards the maintenance of international peace and security, the promotion of sustainable development and the protection of human rights.
NYC Junior Ambassadors uses the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the lens through which educators and students can understand the work of the UN and related global issues.
This program is part of the effort by the Mayor's Office for International Affairs to strengthen the connection between New York City and the UN and is made possible through our partnership with the NYC Department of Education, the NYC Department of Youth & Community Development, the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation.

How do I apply?

Applying to the NYC Junior Ambassadors is straightforward. Simply fill out the online application by the deadline!

What are the program benefits?

Participating classrooms will take part in a curated tour of the United Nations headquarters matched to the class's curricular interests. Participants will also receive a visit to their classroom from a United Nations diplomat who will share their experiences and answer questions. Finally, students will share their learning at a private year-end event celebration with the entire cohort of NYC Junior Ambassadors. All participants will also receive a program certificate acknowledging participation as a NYC Junior Ambassador.

How long does the program last?

The NYC Junior Ambassadors program kicks off in late November/early December with a professional development meeting for educators. The program then concludes with a year-end celebration around mid/late June (before the end of the NYC DOE school year). It is important to note that the year-end event is a sort of graduation from the program but it does not mean the end! Educators and their students are encouraged to continue engaging with the program and global issues as alumni!

Is there a fee to participate in the program?

No. NYC Junior Ambassadors is free to all participating schools and afterschool programs. However, small costs such as bus service to the UN might be incurred by participating schools that choose to travel by bus. Bus service to the year-end event will be provided by the program on an as needed basis.

What are the key program activities?

NYC Junior Ambassadors has five mandatory program activities that are geared toward engaging both educators and their students. These activities are: classroom based learning about the United Nations, curated tours of the United Nations, diplomatic visits to classrooms, professional development for educators, and the year-end project.

Who can Apply or participate?

NYC Junior Ambassadors is a program focused on empowering 7th graders in the five boroughs of NYC. 7th grade educators from all subject areas working in schools or at after-school programs (i.e. teachers, after-school program managers, principals, guidance counselors) can apply. Educators must meet with their students during business days (Monday-Friday) or have the ability to convene them on business days to participate in key program activities. The program is open to public and private schools, including charter schools and religious schools. Non-profits that engage 7th graders can also apply to the program.

Please note that we do not accept applications from individual students or parents, or from institutions operating outside of NYC.

What do I need to do to apply?

Applying to NYC Junior Ambassadors is as easy as filling out a brief online application form! The form includes questions about the school/afterschool program and the classroom. We also require that the educator briefly describe how they will include the UN in their curriculum. For example, a science teacher might wish to focus on climate change by developing lesson plans that teach youth about the issue and actions they can take to protect the environment while exposing them to global initiatives the UN is undertaking on climate action.

Can all my classrooms participate in the program?

Only one group of students (average size 25-35) can participate in the program. In the past, some educators with multiple classrooms have selected students from each of their classrooms to participate in the program. Other educators developed an application process for choosing participating students. Finally, some educators simply chose one of their classrooms to participate in the program; these students would then share their knowledge with their peers. It is important to note that the curriculum developed can be taught to any/all of the classrooms. Entities with smaller classrooms may combine their classrooms as long as the number of students does not exceed 50 students maximum.

What are the key responsibilities of educators who are accepted in the program?

NYC Junior Ambassadors educators must agree to participate as follows:

  • Develop curriculum based on the United Nations and your chosen subject area
  • Ensure students are present and prepared to partake in mandatory NYC Junior Ambassadors activities
  • Guide students through all curriculum activities, including discussions, and other projects
  • Participate in mandatory educator meetings/workshops
  • Publicize NYC Junior Ambassadors in their school
  • Ensure the completion of a year-end project to be displayed at the year-end event
  • Serve as point of contact for NYC Junior Ambassadors
  • Respond to e-mails and other correspondences within the designated timeline and adhere to timelines set by the program team
  • Update the Mayor's Office for International Affairs on significant events and milestones reached in the program
  • At the conclusion of the program, share educational materials, including lessons plans, with the Mayor's Office for International Affairs

The program staff will work closely with each educator to ensure their success while participating in NYC Junior Ambassadors. Specifically, the staff will help troubleshoot issues throughout the year while collaborating with educators and school administrators to ensure adherence to the program.

What is the selection timeline?

The application period is from August 27, 2019 to October 4, 2019. The Mayor's Office for International Affairs staff will rigorously review all applications submitted within this timeframe. Next, the applicant profiles of the top semi-finalists are sent to the Selection Committee for voting. All applicants are notified whether or not they have been chosen for the NYC Junior Ambassadors program.

Do you offer individual application deadline extensions?

No, there are no extensions for individual applications. Accepting one late application would mean that all late applications would need to be accepted. All applications should be submitted by 11:59pm on October 4, 2019.

If I have applied in the past but I wasn't selected, can I apply again?

Yes! There are numerous reasons you may not have been selected in the past but could be a great fit for the 2019-2020 cohort. Persevere!

I don't think I have a chance to be selected, should I still apply?

If you are interested in global affairs and the work of the UN then you should apply! NYC Junior Ambassadors is a program for everyone and diversity is at its core. Some educators thought that they would never be selected for a program like NYC Junior Ambassadors, yet, they were selected. You have nothing to lose by applying! Give yourself and your students an opportunity to experience the UN!

Can more than one educator from the same entity apply to the program?

Yes, more than one educator from the same entity could apply to the program in the same year! Educators are however encouraged to find opportunities for collaboration because we can only accept one educator from an applying entity. Additionally, collaboration amongst educators is encouraged because it strengthens the application and overall experience for students.

I participated in the previous cohort as an educator or entity. Can I apply again this year?

Educators from the previous cohort are required to sit out one cohort cycle. However, educators from entities in the previous cohort year may apply during the next program cycle.

What makes an application successful?

Applications are narrowed down based on eligibility requirements, class size, and class demographics (giving weight to applicants from low-income and/or diverse classrooms) and taking into account any prior participation by the school or educator. Successful applications provide good insight into the classroom, entity, and community, and include a thoughtful idea for the proposed curriculum. Specifically, readers should be able to understand the opportunities and challenges faced by the entity/classroom/students (i.e. do the students have other opportunities for engagement in programs? Can the classroom access other resources? How important is a program like NYC Junior Ambassadors in the students' lives?), the importance of participating in the program, the student/educator demographic history and how this uniquely positions them to excel in this program.

Can you read my application before I submit it?

No, we cannot review applications prior to their submission as this would create an unfair advantage. However, we are happy to answer any questions you may have that are not already covered on this page. Contact us!

The application form won't show up when I click the button, what do I do?

Try using a different browser. You should be able to access the application on Chrome, FireFox, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

I tried all other browsers and it still isn't working, what do I do?

It could be an issue with our website. Please try again after a few minutes. If the form is still not working, please contact us for help.

I have filled out all of the required questions on the application form but it still is not letting me submit the application. What do I do?

Please be sure you are following the word limit guidelines. We highly recommend writing down answers in a separate document that can be saved offline before submission. This process will save time and ensure responses are not lost.

More questions? Please contact us!