The Texas Civic Ambassadors (TCA) program seeks to identify and cultivate the next generation of civic leaders. Research shows that college-aged youth are less likely than adults to contact their elected officials, talk about politics, and participate in elections. We know that young people who gain the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to participate in civic problem-solving have greater confidence in their ability to do so.
The TCA program prepares young people to be civically active adults through nonpartisan, youth-focused events and civic learning opportunities. The program features an intense 3-day civic leadership summit with a robust research-based curriculum, deliberative dialogue training, and year-long ambassadorships that foster reflective and strategic civic action.
- Educational opportunities that will deepen participants' understanding of our democracy and the current state of civic life.
- Guidance for developing effective communication and outreach plans and programs; hosting nonpartisan/ bipartisan dialogues and events; research; presentations; and innovative methods for audience engagement.
- Training on tools and political skills required for a successful career in politics, civic engagement, and community leadership.
The program is open to any young adult who is currently enrolled at a Texas college or university. In-person or phone interviews will be conducted on a rolling basis as a next step in the selection process. The application is closed for the 2020-2021 Texas Civic Ambassadors cohort.
Ambassadors will have an exclusive opportunity to attend the TCA Leadership Summit the fall of their service year at The University of Texas at Austin. Participants will learn from experts and researchers in the fields of leadership development, politics, community engagement, communication, and civic education.
Ambassadors will be supported by a strong network of Annette Strauss Institute researchers, political professionals, advisory council members, program staff and their student cohort. Additionally, participants will be asked to identify a faculty or staff member on their campus who will serve as their mentor throughout their year of service to help advise on plans for outreach activities and events on their campus.
Ambassadors will be offered free admission to all institute events during their year of service, including our annual Campaign Bootcamp and VIP access to the Institute’s annual fundraising dinner, Great Conversations, statewide Speak Up! Speak Out! Civics Fairs, and special guest lectures. TCAs will also receive free admission to the Texas Tribune Festival.
As a cohort, Ambassadors will apply what they’ve learned and work to make a positive difference in their communities. Participants are tasked with identifying ways to enhance civic life and developing an independent civic outreach project that makes a difference in their community. Ambassadors will become leaders and innovators in driving the way we share information and engage every-day citizens in the vital work of self-governance.
Past projects can be found here.