“Leadership is bigger than one’s age. I can do big things regardless of how old I am. I’ve come up with creative ideas for PB outreach and even conducted my own Neighborhood Assembly meetings. Age is just a number, and as a PBYF Youth Fellow I am able to accomplish great things.”

– Faith Arthur, Coro Alumna & PB Youth Fellow, George Westinghouse High School

“To breathe life into this revolution, young people must be involved. That means we have to go to where young people are.”

– Jacinta Ojevwe, PB Youth Fellow, Bronx Health Sciences High School

“Through the city’s PB process and Coro’s stellar leadership training, youth have the opportunity to work with Council Members and have a front row seat to change.”

– Marissa Yanni, Participatory Budgeting Coordinator, New York City Council

“I am happy to support this Fellowship which truly immerses young New Yorkers in a one-of-a-kind experience that will set the foundation for further engagement in government and the public sector.”

Ritchie Torres, Coro alumnus and New York City Council Member


In partnership with the New York City Council and Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), the Participatory Budgeting Youth Fellowship (PBYF) builds the leadership skills of young New Yorkers who are committed to lifting up youth voices and leading change.The program offers high school students intensive training, hands-on experience, and ongoing support to promote greater youth involvement in Participatory Budgeting (PB) in their communities and citywide. PBYF aims to build a growing cadre of young civic change leaders dedicated to making a lasting impact in neighborhoods throughout New York City.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. In New York, City Council Members choose to join Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC), giving at least $1 million from their budget for district residents to vote on how it is spent. The year-long process begins with community members discussing local needs and then developing proposals to meet these needs. Proposed projects can include improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces. Proposals are shared at public meetings, and then district residents vote on which projects to fund. For more information, click here.
PBYF offers a unique combination of training, hands-on experience, and personalized guidance that prepares young people as civic change leaders. Key program features include:

Leadership Development – Participants will receive intensive training focused on raising self-awareness, developing inquiry skills, and understanding multiple perspectives so they can effectively work with others towards shared goals.

Fellowship Placement – PB Youth Fellows will complete 10-15 hours of PB service per month, gaining hands-on experience with outreach, volunteer placement, meeting facilitation, community presentations, voter engagement, and more.

Youth-Adult Partnerships – Coro prepares youth and adults to work as allies and bring together Youth Fellows with their City Council supervisors for joint training sessions at key points during the year.

Individualized Support – Coro staff will provide Youth Fellows with ongoing support, feedback, and guidance to promote their learning, leadership development, and professional growth throughout the program.


The Knowledge
PB Youth Fellows will learn about local government, the PB process, and how to advance equity so they can effectively serve as PB ambassadors and advocates to youth and other underrepresented communities, including people of color, immigrants, public housing residents, and LGBTQ and differently-abled individuals.

The Skills
Participants will gain tools to understand their own leadership style, listen to different perspectives, communicate effectively, and collaborate with others to achieve shared goals.

The Network
Upon graduation from the Fellowship, PB Youth Fellows join an accomplished community of Coro alumni from all industries and sectors who are dedicated to supporting one another and improving New York City so it is a better place to live, work, and learn.


Up to 30 high school students representing 15 City Council districts will be selected to participate in the 2018-19 school year. We aim to recruit a cohort that reflects the demographic diversity of New York City and our partnering districts.

Candidate requirements:

  • Attends high school and/or lives in a participating City Council District
  • Entering 10th or 11th grade (others will be considered on a case-by-case basis)
  • Interest and curiosity in public service, government, and/or civic engagement  
  • Desire to strengthen leadership skills and be a community changemaker
  • Willingness to take risks and step outside one’s comfort zone
  • Ability to commit to rigorous program schedule from July 2018 through May 2019:
    • Summer:
      • Three-week Leadership Institute (July 30th through August 17th)
      • 20 hours of PB service between August 20th and 31st   
    • School Year:
      • 10-15 hours of PB service per month
      • Six (6) full-day training sessions on Saturdays or non-instructional days
      • Six (6) after-school strategy meetings

Participants will earn a stipend for successful completion of the program requirements listed above.


Program Fees are waived due to the generous support of our funders.

Interest & Nomination Form

Click here if you’re interested in applying or would like to nominate a young person for the 2019-20 program. 


View our program brochure.

Current Participants

Meet the current class of leaders.


Read our mid-year newsletter.


Please contact Cynthia Wong, Director of the Participatory Budgeting Youth Fellowship at cynthia@coro.nyc or 212-248-2935


PBYF is a partnership with the New York City Council and the Participatory Budgeting Project. Funding support has also been provided by Members of the New York City Council, Ford Foundation, Staten Island Foundation, National Grid Foundation and the New York Women’s Foundation.