The Young Ambassadors Program (YAP) is a national program for graduating high school seniors that uses the Smithsonian Institution and its resources to nurture the next generation of community-conscious Latino leaders in the arts, sciences, and humanities. YAP is a college preparatory and leadership program that encourages members to investigate numerous academic and career options through the prism of the Hispanic experience. Ford Motor Company Fund has provided significant and ongoing assistance to this initiative for the past thirteen years.
Students with an interest in and commitment to the arts, sciences, and humanities as it pertains to Latino communities and cultures are selected to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week-long seminar at the Smithsonian. This enrichment opportunity is a leadership development and skill-building training that exposes youth to a wide array of academic disciplines promoting higher education and encouraging the exploration and understanding of Latino history and identity. The seminar, known as Washington Week, includes visits to the Smithsonian’s Latino collections and one-on-one interaction with renowned experts
from various fields as well as museum professionals. Following the training seminar, students participate in a four-week interdisciplinary internship in museums and other cultural institutions in 18 cities across the United States and Puerto Rico, including Smithsonian-affiliated organizations. This hands-on component allows students to gain transferable knowledge and apply the skills acquired during the training seminar to their internship assignments.
Before applying, please read the YAP program materials below, including the applicant guide, which includes a step-by-step process of how to fill out the application.
YAP students experience a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and participate in workshops with preeminent Latino scholars and leaders. After a week in Washington, the fellows conduct internships at one of 17 partner cultural or science museums across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Students also participate in community outreach events with local libraries to promote early childhood literacy.
As a Young Ambassador, you will get to impact your community through your Internship experience.
Summer Program Overview
- Participate in a weeklong pre professional and pre-collegiate seminar in Washington, D.C. at the
- Smithsonian focusing on Latino perspectives with peers from all over the nation.
- Complete a four-week interdisciplinary internship program at a museum or other cultural institution in one of 18 cities in the United States and Puerto Rico.
- Explore careers in the arts, sciences and humanities and meet Latino Leaders.
- Enhance networking skills and knowledge.
Expenses and Program Stipend
• Participation in the Young Ambassadors Program includes meals and accommodations for the duration of the one-week training seminar, and round-trip travel costs to Washington, D.C.
• Students selected are responsible for all expenses during the four-week internship, including transportation, accommodations, and meals.
• The National Museum of the American Latino encourages applicants to select internship sites in their local regions or in regions where applicants may be able to stay with family or friends in the area.
• Upon completion of the five-week program, participants will receive a $2,350 program stipend.
• Students that do not complete the training seminar and four-week internship will not receive the program stipend.
• Up to 24 participants are selected through a competitive process, guided by a selection
• To be eligible for the program, you must:
• Be a high school senior graduating in 2023;
• Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States with a valid Social Security Number at the time of application;
• Have a minimum weighted cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale;
• Be fluent in English;
• Be enrolled full-time in a degree-seeking program at an accredited college of university (2 or 4 year institution) (enrollment will be verified for Fall 2023);
• Commit to participate in the one-week training seminar at the Smithsonian Institution and complete a four-week paid summer internship.
The YAP Alumni Network keeps students engaged beyond the internship and provides them with continuing professional and leadership development opportunities. The YAP network has a 97% graduation rate and is known for transforming high school graduates into college-educated, early-career professionals poised for success. Many alumni embark on successful careers in the arts, business, education, and technology sectors, among others.
Young Ambassadors in Your Community
The Young Ambassadors Program and its Alumni Network implement the Alcancemos community outreach events that include mentor days at local high schools and summer library reading days, which aim to foster Latino success in K-12 and higher education by establishing community near-peer mentors and role models discussing educational opportunities.
How To Apply
Accessing the Application
1. Create a Smithsonian Online Academic Appointment System (SOLAA) account by following this link
2. Register a username and password; please be sure to save this information.
3. Once registered in SOLAA, search for the National Museum of the American Latino 2023 Young Ambassadors Program.
4. Complete and submit your application for the 2023 YAP with all its materials. These application materials
include your three short statements, one resume, one video, one picture, and one letter of recommendation.
1. Please upload your statements and resume as PDF files, if possible. If submitting Microsoft Word
documents, ensure they are .doc files NOT .docx. Please ask your recommenders to do the same.
2. Photos can be uploaded as .jpg or .pdf.
3. Follow the instructions for video upload on the application.
Please note: The application does not recognize special characters or accent marks. Please do not use when
filling out the application.
Application deadline: Extended to April 14, 2023
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