Why Join CYC?

CYC is here to serve our members in different capacities and we want to highlight some of the benefits of your membership! When all is said and done, we offer three distinct pillars of benefits which are the opportunities we provide, participation you get in our programming, and your identity as a youth! 

Opportunities

In response to the lack of opportunities young people face today in developing their skills, knowledge and economic prospects within the cooperative economy, CYC will offer:

  • Access to funds supporting travel and registration associated with attending cooperative conferences, trainings, workshops, and other educational opportunities
  • Access to paid fellowship, internship and contracting opportunities in cooperative fields
  • Learning opportunities (via mentorship, apprenticeship and simply networking) with cooperative “elders,” leaders and innovators
  • Ongoing relationships with cooperative employers (including job listings and recruiting relationships with employers throughout the cooperative movement)
  • Ability to connect and collaborate with other young cooperators in your region, as well as nationally and internationally

Participation

CYC believes that every young “cooperator” must experience firsthand what it means to co-own and participate directly in a thriving cooperative venture. By doing so, you will gain the skills to excel in any co-op, including thinking about how best to engage and service member needs. Luckily, CYC provides an opportunity within the framework of our own organization.  Through committee and volunteer participation in CYC, we offer opportunities for direct, hands-on experience with cooperative governance and operations, within the framework of one’s ownership stake in CYC itself. We like to think of ourselves as a “model garden” for people to develop cooperative business skills.  We strive to apply best practices in everything we do, making it an ideal participatory environment for new cooperators.  We strive to encourage participation through developing:

  • an active membership, including a board, committees, officers, directors, each being defined and achievable roles, making it easy to participate
  • caucus-type participation
  • ability to view internal documentation and member training
  • meaningful planning, decision-making and peer mentoring opportunities

Identity

Our collective identity is our strength.  We seek to build an inclusive, powerful movement of young people willing to change the business model that is all too common today. United by our cooperative ethics, we strive to honor people of all backgrounds and experiences as we create opportunities for greater participation, impact, and power in the cooperative movement and beyond. We do this by creating a:

  • Voice for youth cooperators on national cooperative policy and issues
  • Platform for collective voice in national and international cooperative affairs
  • Collective efforts and messaging clearly rooted in our social justice and the “broader picture” of cooperation
  • Active outreach to youth interested in, but not yet plugged into the cooperative movement
  • A forum to gather and connect with other young people
  • A place to represent your everyday experiences and struggles as a young cooperator
  • Fun, silly and awesome organizing culture and CYC spaces