Advocacy Institute

Apply Today to #BeTheChange



Participants will:

  • Develop leadership and advocacy skills
  • Have fun with hands-on activities and field trips 
  • Learn about policies affecting youth
  • Network with experts 
  • Learn how to make positive changes for teen health

The Advocacy Institute

The Advocacy Institute (AI), an initiative of Health Promotion Council (HPC), is a youth empowerment program with a mission to empower youth of Philadelphia to make sustainable community changes through policy, community, and social media advocacy. Participants gain knowledge and opportunities to network and build their leadership skills.

The twelve week program culminates in participants implementing an action project to address an issue that affects their specific community. Upon successfully completing the program, graduates are inducted into the AI Alumni Network where they are given opportunities to expand their action plan and reinvest their experience in future cohorts and ongoing campaigns.


#RealTalkTobacco is AI's leading class series designed to train youth leaders in anti-tobacco advocacy focused on issues such as: the targeting of specific smoking demographics, tobacco policy and enforcement, youth access and point of sale accessibility. Following our program philosophy, participants culminate the process by creating an action project to address the tobacco issues most relevant to them and their community. The impact of our young peoples' city-wide campaign, #Philly1st has been well received by those all across the city as our youth work to make Philadelphia the first city in the US to have a 0% Youth Smoking Rate. Our #RTT Youth leaders continue to lead the way for youth-led tobacco prevention and policy advocacy here in Philadelphia.

Young City Planner's Initiative

The Young City Planners Initiative takes the AI model and adapts it to focus on a specific neighborhood/zip code in the city of Philadelphia and recruits youth from within that community to partner with their local Community development center to address public health concerns and neighborhood issues through media, community, and policy advocacy. The Community Development Center’s function is to work as a sustainable and mutually beneficial partner that provides data from community needs assessments along with their neighborhood plan or vision of change for the community and corresponding commercial corridor to our youth advocates and in turn build the capacity and leverage the resources of their organization through the groundwork and grassroots advocacy efforts of the YCPI youth advocates.

PA Youth First Fellowship

The Advocacy Institute has assembled a Youth Advisory Council of students aged 14 to 18, to take the lead in creating a series of media campaigns that communicate the dangers of opioid misuse and addiction to the youth of Pennsylvania. As AI's first statewide initiative, fellows participated in an accelerated training program designed after our #RealTalkTobacco class series. While there, the council participated in fun activities designed to Empower! Educate! and Activate! Fellows were able to network with other young leader across the state of Pennsylvania, and create tangible change in their state!

The fellowship arms students with the tools to effectively communicate the dangers and consequences of opioid abuse, design an effective and targeted media campaign, and team build with their peers to make a difference. After the training, the council connected via webinars and conference calls over the course of the one year fellowship to see their campaign through to finish. 


The Advocacy Institute is proud to partner with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH), the Philadelphia Public School District, local legislators, and local community based organizations.

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Related Content

A Note of Appreciation to the Advocacy Institute

A letter from a parent of a participant in the Advocacy Institute:

"I just wanted to take a few minutes from my day to send off this note of appreciation to you and all of those that worked tirelessly within the Advocacy Institute.