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Advocacy Institute
for High School Students

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.


Program elements include:
  • Workshops led by movement leaders
  • Discussions about weekly readings
  • Elective hours on a wide variety of topics
  • Mentorship by an Institute college student
  • One-to-one support from FFAC staff mentors 
  • An advocacy project of your choice
  • Opportunities to connect with like-minded peers
  • Internships, job opportunities, and introductions
  • Lifelong membership in the Leadership Collective

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 verbal and written communication strategies.

  • Learn fundamental institutional and political advocacy skills. 


  • 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.

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
  • Animal ethics
  • Climate change and animal agriculture
  • Food sovereignty
  • Media, animal advocacy, and the principles of persuasion
  • Indigenous perspectives and factory farming
  • Institutional campaigns: shifting culture in your community
  • Lobbying 101: How to lobby your local representatives
  • Open Sanctuary Project, LGBTQ+ perspectives
  • Plant-based nutrition panel
  • Public health: pandemics
  • Public speaking for activists
  • Self-care strategies for activists
  • Virtual farmed animal sanctuary tour: Charlie's Acres
  • A Green New Meal: factory farming and environmental justice
  • Community-building and organizing strategies
  • Building an equitable movement
  • Meat & masculinity panel
  • Delivering a full/adapted length FFAC interactive lesson to an audience of your choosing on one or more focus areas: health, social justice, and environmental impacts of animal agriculture
  • Working with Friends of the Earth or Balanced to establish plant-based dining options, pass legislation, and lead campaigns
  • Creating social media campaigns
  • Writing articles and op-eds for publication in various media outlets
  • Tabling/leafleting on campus to raise awareness about factory farming impacts
  • Other projects on approval
  • Educational Hour: Climate Justice and Factory Farming
  • Educational Hour: Effective Altruism
  • Educational Hour: Graduate programs- PhD, MS, MA, and funding for graduate school
  • Educational Hour: How to take political action for animals
  • Skill-Building Hour: Mindfulness in advocacy
  • Skill-building hour: Writing workshop
  • Social Hour: Community building
  • Social Hour: Plant-Based Eating Support


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.

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

Articles by Student Advocates

A Guide to Greenhouse Gases: Examples, Causes, Effects, and More
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Sep 21, 2022
Starbucks’ Relationship with Factory Farming
Starbucks is the largest coffee shop chain in the world; where do they get their milk and dairy?
Sep 08, 2022
Effecting Change Through Employment: Two Examples
A career in advocacy is one of the most effective ways to make a sustained impact.
Sep 06, 2022

Collaborative Organizations

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