2021-2022 Young Women’s Advisory Council Applications Available

Calling young women, ages 16-24 from Springfield, MA, interested in strategizing efforts to encourage a safe, healthy, and economically prosperous community with gender and racial equity.  Join us for the 2021-2022 Young Women’s Advisory Council (YWAC), where you will investigate barriers, explore solutions, and make recommendations for change in your community. Throughout the year, you will participate in groups and develop your advocacy skills while being a part of the Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) National partnership. Experiential learning and leadership development are key features of this program that will focus on issues of equity that resonates with you.

The Young Women’s Initiative (YWI) is a national project creating prosperity for young women, particularly Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC). 18 Degrees, Family Services for Western Massachusetts, is excited to partner with the Women’s Fund of Western Mass to bring the program to residents of Springfield, MA.

Accepted YWAC members serve a one-year term. Members will meet two to three times per month, both virtually and in-person, between October 2021 and May 2022.

We hope to hold several YWAC meetings in person.  To do so, staff and YWAC members will need to practice the applicable protocols established by 18 Degrees, per CDC and state guidelines, including wearing masks, physical distancing, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette. 

Although we will not ask for confirmation, we strongly encourage YWAC members to be vaccinated.


18 Degrees seeks bright, self-motivated, and collaborative young women interested in community leadership and demonstrated personal achievement.

  • Must be a resident of Springfield, MA. Young women who do not currently live in the community (due to enrollment at college, etc.) may apply if they have lived a minimum of 5 years in Springfield and can commit to attending meetings between October 2021 and May 2022.
  • 16-24 years old by the time of application.

Apply Today

Michaele, 16

“I learned a lot about societal issues I personally haven’t faced, and I liked being able to speak about the ones I have. I really loved talking with other young women and hearing their experiences. I also loved the workshop and meeting other professional women, and networking as well.”