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Advocacy Institute
for High School Students

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As a high school student in the Advocacy Institute, you will gain the skills, knowledge, and lifelong support to lead in the movement to end factory farming.


Interns in the Advocacy Institute will gain:

  • Exposure to a wide range of approaches to improving the food system
  • Hands-on professional experience
  • Evidence-based social change strategy skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Effective communication training
  • Career networking and mentorship opportunities
  • Competency in technological, political, and business solutions to end factory farming
  • Connections with movement leaders in nonprofit, business, and policy
  • Lifelong membership and professional development in the Leadership Collective, and
  • A community of caring and supportive activists!

The Advocacy Institute offers in-person events and programming opportunities in FFAC’s US regions:

  • The Bay Area

  • Denver Metro

  • The Midwest (Chicagoland and Northern Ohio)

  • New York City

  • Southern California (Los Angeles and San Diego)

In all other regions, this program is currently accessible virtually.

Student Learning Objectives

  • Learn about the socioeconomic and scientific developments that gave rise to and continue to support industrial agriculture.
  • Develop a comprehensive understanding of the impacts of factory farming on animal welfare, the environment and climate change, public health, and social justice.
  • Improve persuasive, verbal, and written communication strategies.
  • Learn fundamental institutional and political advocacy skills.
  • Learn about and engage in effective strategies to end factory farming.


  • High school students who complete all program requirements are eligible for letters of recommendation.
  • Obtain a broader understanding of available career paths and be exposed to job and networking opportunities.
  • Gain long-lasting friendships and mentors through immersion in a like-minded, supportive community.
  • Earn academic/internship credit from your high school
    • Note: ​​​​If you would like to earn academic credit from your high school as part of your experience in the Advocacy Institute, please research the requirements for earning academic/internship credit through your high school and inform us of the requirements, provide us with necessary forms to sign, etc.

Partner Organizations

As part of your time in the Advocacy Institute, you will have the opportunity to work with one or more of our partner organizations:

the humane leaguebalanced logofriends of the earth logo

Sample Activities & Curriculum

  • Environmental impacts of animal agriculture
  • Environmental justice
  • Meat workers
  • Animal health
  • Animal ethics
  • Plant-based nutrition and human health
  • Food racism/food justice
  • Connections with racial justice
  • Indigenous perspectives
  • Connections with feminist theory
  • Connections with disability rights
  • Future of food (biotech)
  • Policy
  • Effective activism: communication
  • Effective activism: strategies to end factory farming
  • Effective activism: careers and sustainable advocacy
  • Introduction to Factory Farming with FFAC
  • Foundations of Animal Ethics
  • Foundations of Effective Communication
  • Effective Altruism and Animal Advocacy
  • Institutional Campaigns with Better Food Foundation and The Humane League
  • Animal Advocacy Careers 
  • Fish, Shrimp, and Invertebrate Welfare Panel with Shrimp Welfare Project and Fish Welfare Initiative
  • Green New Meal: How Factory Farming Fuels Climate Injustice with Noa Dalzell
  • Data to End Factory Farming with Faunalytics
  • Combatting Factory Farming in Asia with Asia Animal Alliance
  • Political Strategies to End Factory Farming with Prof. David Wolfson
  • Cultivated Meat with Mission Barns
  • Alternative Protein Careers with Good Food Institute
  • Indigenous Environmental Perspectives and Animal Agriculture with Prof. Claudia Serrato
  • Building an Equitable Movement with APEX Advocacy
  • Plant-Based Nutrition Panel
  • Meat and Masculinity Panel

Each student in the Advocacy Institute will be required to complete an advocacy project which requires that you choose at least one of the following options:

1) Deliver FFAC interactive lesson(s) to a class, student group, or organization on one or more focus areas: health, social justice, and environmental impacts of animal agriculture


2) Work with FFAC partner organizations (e.g. The Humane League, Better Food Foundation, Mercy for Animals, Balanced) to start or contribute to an institutional campaign to lobby for more just, sustainable food access on your campus or in your community.

Students may choose to focus their energy on one of the above options or work on one of these in addition to another project.

Additional advocacy project possibilities include but are not limited to

  • Starting or supporting a student organization (with support from The Humane League)

  • Creating social media campaigns

  • Writing articles and op-eds for publication in various media outlets

  • Supporting outreach database management and expansion

  • Recruitment for the Advocacy Institute

  • Develop original projects, such as videos or other creative projects.

  • Water Use and Waste Management in CAFOs
  • Factory Farming and Mass Incarceration
  • Plant-Based Eating Support
  • Orientalism and Plant-Based Eating
  • History of Tofu and Cooking Demo
  • Graduate Programs and Funding
  • Self-experimentation, Prioritization, and Other Productivity Hacks
  • Cohort Social Hour


Program Dates

**This information may be subject to change as we approach the start of the term.**

Summer High School Institute: June 26, 2023 - August 10, 2023

  • Students meet on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9am-1pm PT / 10am-2pm MT / 11am-3pm CT / 12-4pm ET
  • Orientation: June 26, 2023 from 11am-1pm PT / 12-2pm MT / 1-3pm CT / 2-4pm ET
  • Summer Term Celebration: August 10, 2023 from 4-5pm PT / 5-6pm MT / 6-7pm CT / 7-8pm ET
  • The time commitment for this program is 13 hours per week for 7 weeks, which includes:
    • Initial orientation
    • Workshops
    • Discussion hours
    • Elective hours
    • Two advocacy project hours per week

Program Requirements

In order to successfully complete this program, students are required to attend: (1) an information session and interview, (2) the mandatory orientation, (3) all program meetings, and (4) the Advocacy Institute celebration.

  1. Attend Institute meetings weekly Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9am-1pm PT / 10am-2pm MT / 11am-3pm CT /- 12pm-4pm ET plus additional optional social, professional, and educational events throughout each month. During these weekly meetings, we will discuss the readings, participate in workshops, listen to guest speakers, and share progress on project work.
  2. Attend 2 elective hours each week (16 minimum, over the term) from a calendar offering a variety of options including educational hours, social hours, skill-building hours, team learning meetings with FFAC staff, and monthly CultureShift book club meetings. Note: educational hours, social hours, and skill-building hours take place during the meeting time block above.
  3. Each high school student will be mentored by a college student through pre-planned goal-setting and advocacy skill-building activities. FFAC will provide support and instructions for college mentors on how to lead mentor group meetings. Mentor meetings will take place during our regularly-scheduled weekly meeting times.

High school advocates will spend approximately 2 hours per week completing an advocacy project of their choosing (See Advocacy Project Hours section above for sample project options.)  During the final week of the Advocacy Institute, all high school advocates will share about their experience and advocacy project during a virtual showcase.

Application Process

Admissions are competitive. Above all, we look for commitment to our mission and values. We look for candidates who will actively engage in our community and, later on, the Leadership Collective. There are no specific experience or GPA requirements.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis!**

  1. Complete the online application below.
  2. In addition to submitting an application through this website, please upload your resume and a project sample. Your project sample should be any project you have done that displays your skills and ideas, e.g., an academic essay, personal writing, creative project, art, video, or anything else. We will accept a sample of any size or length—quality over quantity.
  3. After submitting your application, we will email you the recording of the information session to watch.
  4. After watching the information session, if you think the program is a good fit for you, we will assess your application further and select the applicants who will be invited to an interview.
  5. Within two weeks after your interview, we will let you know if you are accepted into the program.

**Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. You are welcome to submit an application now for a future term. Please note which term you are applying for on the application.

Please reach out with additional questions to Kiely Smith at kiely@ffacoalition.org.

Decided not to apply? If after reviewing this program, you have decided not to apply, please let us know why by completing this short survey.

Meet Our Cohort Leaders

Alexis Miller
Denver, CO
Elly Ren
Atlanta, GA
Iris Woosley
Chicago, IL
Kiely Smith
New York City, NY
Rowdy Keelor
San Diego, CA
Ryan Gourley
Des Moines, IA

Articles by Student Advocates

Birth, Life, And Death of a Factory-Farmed Turkey
In the last hundred years, the scale of turkey production has been radically transformed. In 1910, there were 870,000 farms raising 3.7 million turkeys, with […]
Nov 30, 2022
Biden’s Big Ag Policy
Picture a farm, and you’ll probably imagine Old Macdonald and his cows, chickens, and pigs froliking in the sunlight on green, open pastures. The myth […]
Nov 23, 2022
Legal Battles Over Labeling Laws
The proliferation of plant-based products has lead to attacks by the meat and dairy industries over food labeling.
Oct 06, 2022

Collaborative Organizations

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2108 N ST STE 8197
Sacramento, CA 95816
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