Young Canadians from the ages of 13 to 21 can now apply to become a member of the RCMP’s National Youth Advisory Committee, also known as NYAC.
Tessa Duc is a Youth Outreach Officer for the RCMP’s NYAC initiative. Duc says participants will be chosen from diverse cultures and backgrounds to interact with each other online to discuss important issues they face in their respective communities.
Through this forum, committee members can share their thoughts about youth crime and victimization topics and help shape RCMP programs and initiatives.
“There’s no previous experience needed,” she adds. “What we’re looking for is people who are passionate and interested in the topics we are talking about and are passionate about talking about issues in their community and what they’ve witnessed and experienced. So, we’re looking for passionate, interested and diverse youth.”
Those wishing to be a part of the first selection round of the 2021-22 NYAC must submit their applications by the end of this month.
What are NYAC’s objectives?
Duc says there are several objectives to the program, the first being to connect young people with their fellow youth from other parts of their province or territory, and with others from across the country as a whole. Also, this gives them valuable opportunities to connect with police officers from across Canada.
“We’re also looking for youth to share their experiences and issues that their communities face,” she says. “We’re also looking for youth to collectively work toward finding solutions to these issues, as a group and with police officers and with us as the host of the NYAC.”
“Finally, we want the youth to have a voice and an impact on the RCMP policies, procedures and programs. Those are the objectives we try to tackle throughout the sessions.”
During the 2021-22-year, committee members will be sharing their thoughts on issues that include bullying and cyberbullying, online safety, transportation safety and impaired driving, cannabis and substance use, mental health and healthy relationships, and reconciliation.
What are the benefits for joining NYAC?
Duc says there are a number of reasons why the youth of today might want to join the RCMP National Youth Advisory Committee.
“It helps you practice important skills for later opportunities, whether that be job opportunities or school opportunities. It also helps you practice critical thinking skills and communication skills. It increases your knowledge on issues that are affecting youth in Canada.”
Connecting with youth in their own province or territory and from across Canada, as well as with police officers from across Canada, is a major benefit to the program, “and you get to share their voices and kind of be a representative for their community and what they’ve experienced and I think that’s a really special thing because then you also get to impact the RCMP’s policies, procedures and programs,” she adds.
For those who are curious about joining the RCMP or interested about taking police services training, this would give great insight into that field of expertise.
“You get an inside scoop on what’s going on in the RCMP,” explains Duc. “You also get to speak straight on to police officers and members that are within the RCMP. So, you’re making connections at the same time. It’s also great experience if you want it to go on a resume if going to the RCMP.”
“But I always say that its good for anyone,” she adds. “Whether you want to be a police officer or not, I still think there’s still a lot of really great skills that you can get out of this, and also a lot of great feedback that they can give us, no matter what background, or what goal or aspirations you have.”
Youth Became a Priority for the RCMP in 1999
Youth Became a Priority for the RCMP in 1999 and the National Youth Advisory Committee was established in 2010. The program became more prominent across the country when it went virtual, thus being able to connect all participants from every province and territory.
Now, Duc says, they receive hundreds of applications.
Up to 125 youth from across the country are chosen to be part of each year’s national committee. Just over a dozen youth represented Manitoba during the 2020-21 fiscal year.
“We try to make our reach as far as possible,” she explains, “and that’s why it’s important that we’re having this conversation with Manitoba specifically, because we want to keep getting more applications from Manitoba. Last year from Manitoba we had 15 youth, so we’re hoping to increase that this year.”
How do I apply?
Interested youth from ages 13 to 21 are encouraged to apply. They must be Canadian citizens and they must reside in Canada.
The deadline for the first round of selection is July 30th, 2021. Those initial applications will be given priority and will have a better chance of being selected. For those who don’t get accepted in the first round have until the September 10th deadline and they will be reviewed for the second round in the selection process.
Visit the following link for more information and to receive an application package: https://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/en/youth-safety/national-youth-advisory-committee