Smithsonian Secretary's Youth Advisory Council

The Smithsonian Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council was established by Secretary David Skorton as a way for the Smithsonian to gain advice from young people in the Washington, D.C., community and insight on how well it resonates with area youth.

The Smithsonian Secretary’s Youth Advisory Council ensures that the thoughts and ideas of the young people in our community help guide the important work we do at the Institution. By giving feedback directly to Smithsonian leadership on our programming and how we engage visitors, we can better involve this important group, and ensure we are doing all that we can to meet their needs.

The objectives of the council are to:

  • Acknowledge the voices of teens
  • Gather input from participating teens on methods of digital and object-based learning
  • Identify and test new ideas by leveraging insight from the council members

The 2017-2018 council includes 15 teens ranging in age from 16 to 18 who reside in the Washington metropolitan area, and 10 national teens who are recruited directly from five Smithsonian Affiliates. Teens must be enrolled full time in high school. The local Washington, D.C. teens meet at the Smithsonian in person, while the Affiliate teen members meet virtually. Members of the council serve for one term (September to April) with an option to serve a second term.

Please contact Tracie Spinale, Program Manager, with questions. Local Washington, D.C.-area applications are being accepted July 17 through September 3, 2017. More local application information here