The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is seeking up to 45 Montgomery County high school students to serve as “Vision Zero Youth Ambassadors.” The project-based learning program teaches teens leadership skills, outreach and engagement techniques to address traffic safety needs in their community. Applications are now being accepting. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, Nov. 30.
Interested public, private and home-schooled high school students can learn about the program and apply here. The program received 100 applications last year.
The program supports the County’s Vision Zero Initiative, whose goal is to eliminate traffic-related severe injuries and deaths. Youth Ambassadors have an opportunity to help the County work toward the goal by becoming road safety leaders in their communities.
“Students can help drive positive change and make a big impact by participating,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “We want creative solutions from our youth to help achieve the goals of our Vision Zero plan, to save lives through traffic safety infrastructure and programming. Teens can play a powerful role in making Vision Zero a reality.”
Applicants will be notified by Dec. 14 if they have been accepted into the program. Selected ambassadors are required to attend a virtual orientation that will be held via Zoom from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 7.
After the orientation session, ambassadors will participate in four sessions through May, both virtual via Zoom and in-person. Sessions will be held from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays on the following dates:
- Session 1 – Saturday, Feb. 11 (in person)
- Session 2 – Saturday, March 4 (in person)
- Session 3 – Saturday, March 25 (virtual)
- Session 4 - Saturday, April 29 (virtual)
Youth Ambassadors are tasked with completing a group project based on one of six categories that encompasses engineering or education topics. Resources and project guidance are provided by the County to execute projects that will ultimately improve the safety of County residents.
Students can earn 40 Student Service Learning (SSL) hours for participating in the program. Additional SSL hours can be earned for participating in scheduled County outreach efforts promoting pedestrian and driver safety throughout the program’s duration.
“This program offers real world engineering and advocacy experience that has impactful, tangible outcomes,” said County Department of Transportation Director Chris Conklin. “We are empowering teens to assess needed improvements to the built environment, inform their peers about safe behavior and develop programs that address specific safety needs in communities throughout the County.”
The youth ambassadors will complete the program in late May 2023, where they will share their project plans, outcomes and best practices with attendees and special guests at a graduation ceremony.
Learn more about the County Vision Zero effort here.