Calling all young Texans
Your voice, your experiences, and your stories matter.
You deserve to be heard by our leaders who make decisions that impact us and our communities for years to come. We’re here to make that happen. CDF-Texas aims to empower you to take action on key issues in our state, from your education to your right to vote, from healthcare to immigration.
YOUthTX advocates have contacted legislators, testified in public hearings, and spoken to reporters. They’ve moved leaders to fight for a system that works for all of us.
If this sounds intimidating, that’s okay. We welcome all young Texans interested in advocacy — no experience required! Our team will support you in every stage of your journey, whether you’re learning about advocacy for the first time or are already a seasoned advocate. We offer teach-ins, skills training, leadership development, and more. Plus, we’ll share advocacy-focused volunteer and job opportunities in Texas as we learn about them. Sound interesting? Join our YOUthTX Program today!
Past Events: Highlights
From presidential races to local ones, every election matters. This event focused on school board elections: what they are, why they matter, and how to get involved.
Our two-day Advocacy 101 training gave young Texans the tools they need to champion the causes they care about on a number of issues.
Interested? It takes just a minute to sign up for our program!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Am I a young advocate?
Our program is designed for Texans ages 14–25. No advocacy experience is required. All we ask is a desire to listen, engage, and share your experiences. We encourage youth who are people of color, LGBTQIA+, immigrants, from low-income families, people with disabilities, or from other underrepresented communities to join.
What is this program, and what is it not?
This is a youth-centered program that provides free workshops, conversations, and activities designed to empower young Texans to use your experiences to shape policy in our state. We train you to recognize key policy and lawmakers, understand the policy-making process, and most of all, take collective action to impact that process in order to create the changes our communities deserve. We host teach-ins, advocacy days, and panels with advocates, leaders, and much more on key issues affecting Texans, with a focus on CDF-Texas’ issue areas: youth civic engagement and education, healthcare, and immigration. This is not a paid fellowship or paid program.
What if I’m really busy?
As a general rule, you’ll get as much out of our program as you put into it. We welcome young advocates to our spaces regardless of how much time or energy you can commit to our program from week to week. We do share actions year-round that only take a couple minutes of your time. We also understand there are times when life demands more of us, or when we simply need to make time for rest.
How much will this cost?
Our program is free, and we’ll cover your expenses for any activities we host.
Will I get paid?
This is not a paid fellowship or program. We will share paid advocacy opportunities at the local and state levels as they come up, including ones at CDF-Texas. We offer gift card raffles and other prizes at our events, and we may provide gift cards for major advocacy projects (such as writing an op-ed or speaking at a rally) to honor your time and effort, as funds allow. If you’re interested in paid opportunities through CDF-Texas, check out our Youth Voices Storytelling Fellowship and keep an eye on our internships.
What if I can’t vote?
That’s okay! Voting is just one avenue for civic engagement and advocacy. Our leaders represent and work for you, even if you can’t cast a ballot. To our non-citizen youth: we see you, and we want to amplify your voices too. We aim to create opportunities for all Texas youth, regardless of your age, immigration status, or experience.
Young Texans across the state are fighting back to make sure schools do right by their students. We made this guide to help you do the same.