Youth Ambassador Program: Preliminary Round Begins this Summer!

Are you a young adult who is passionate about a social issue? Got innovative solutions? Then an exciting opportunity awaits you! The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is pleased to announce that the preliminary round of the Youth Ambassador Program (YAP) competition will begin this summer!

The NAD YAP is a competition for deaf and hard of hearing youth – female and male individuals – ages 18 to 30 within the deaf community. Contestants will compete against each other to determine who will be the next pair of NAD Youth Ambassadors with five rounds and a preliminary round. Each round has its own set of rules and instructions. The two winning Youth Ambassadors will work with the NAD to implement a strategic plan that addresses social issues within the deaf community. Moreover, the Youth Ambassadors will represent the NAD at presentations, workshops, the Youth Leadership Camp (YLC), and other events for two years.

Interested individuals can join the competition by engaging in a preliminary round, which is an interview by a state association or a NAD affiliate organization. By participating in the preliminary round, applicants can secure a sponsor to support them throughout the competition, which starts this summer and ends with the final round at the biennial NAD Conference in Atlanta, Georgia next summer. Applicants who are unable to secure a sponsor in the preliminary round should contact us to discuss obtaining a sponsor in alternative ways.

Preliminary Round:

What is a Preliminary Round? This round serves as a starting point for applicants and sponsors to see who wants to be in the competition. This preliminary round helps potential sponsors decide whom to sponsor prior to the start of the formal competition.

Who can participate in the Preliminary Round? Interested applicants can compete in the Preliminary Round by applying with a qualified sponsor and seek to represent that sponsor in the formal competition.

Who is a qualified sponsor for the Preliminary Round? A sponsor can be a state association of the deaf in good standing with the NAD or a NAD affiliate organization. Interested applicants can look online at the websites listed below to find out which organizations are eligible, and contact them to express interest in representing the eligible organization during the YAP Competition ( or

How and Where are the Preliminary Round conducted? Potential sponsors interested in being involved in the YAP competition are welcome to conduct interviews or even competitions starting this summer to determine which applicant they want to sponsor. State Associations can hold interviews or competitions during their state association conferences or during a different event separate from the conference. Affiliate organizations can do the same during their conference or host an interview or competition when the time is right.

The selected applicant will represent the sponsor organization and enter the first round which will begin this Fall. Applicants who do not have a sponsor from the preliminary round can still enter the first round in September but must find a sponsor before the second round in November. For the duration of this competition, applicants will represent their respective sponsor organizations and the sponsors will support applicants financially throughout the competition.

YAP Timeline Applicants and Sponsors Should Expect:

Summer 2013 – Fall 2013
Preliminary Round, each state association or affiliate organization can hold interviews or contests to select a contestant for the NAD YAP and applicants can actively seek sponsorship from state associations or affiliate organizations. The selection of the applicant by the sponsor must take place before Round 1 in the Fall of 2013.

Fall 2013 – Spring 2014
Rounds 1 & 2 will happen in the Fall of 2013 and Spring of 2014.

Summer 2014
Rounds 3, 4, & 5 will happen during the biennial NAD Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in July 2014.

Potential sponsors who are interested in participating can go to to find the guidelines so you know what to look for when interviewing or hosting a competition of your own during the preliminary round.

For further information about the competition, please visit Come and join us for this exciting competition!

The National Association of the Deaf was established in 1880 by deaf leaders who believed in the right of the American deaf community to use sign language, to congregate on issues important to them, and to have its interests represented at the national level. As a nonprofit federation, the mission of the NAD is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard of hearing Americans. The advocacy scope of the NAD is broad, covering the breadth of a lifetime and impacting future generations in the areas of early intervention, education, employment, health care, technology, telecommunications, youth leadership, and more.