Apply to Project WHAT!

Has one of your parents ever been in prison or jail?

Would you be willing to share your story of what’s it’s been like to have a parent incarcerated so you can help other youth who are going through the same thing? Do you want a fun, challenging job where you can learn skills to help you get into college or just to improve yourself?

Project WHAT! hires youth with incarcerated parents. To apply:

  • You MUST be between 13-18 years old
  • You MUST live in Alameda County, Contra Costa County, or San Francisco
  • One or both of your parents MUST have been incarcerated at some point in your life
  • You MUST be willing to speak publicly about it and share your experiences (if you’re nervous, we’ll teach you!)

These are PAID part-time positions. A one-year commitment is required.

Project WHAT! is always accepting applications. Interviews will happen on an ongoing basis. Apply using the form below. More details are below the application form.

We encourage all interested folks to submit their online application ASAP so we can start the process of getting you involved. Thanks and we look forward to reading your responses!

For questions about the application process, call Project WHAT! at 510.268.8116, email Oscar, or message us on our Facebook page.

Project WHAT! Youth Advocate Application Form

* = required

Today's date *

Legal name *

Preferred name

How did you hear about Project WHAT!?

Demographic Information

Date of birth *

Ethnic identity

Gender identity

Contact Information

Email address *

Best phone number to reach you *

Street address (city, state, ZIP) *

Parent or Trusted Adult (only for youth under 18)


Phone number

Relationship to you (mother, uncle, teacher, etc.)

Parental Incarceration Information

Which parent was incarcerated? *

Is she/he currently incarcerated? *

Approximately what age were you when your parent was arrested?

How long was your parent incarcerated?

Getting to Know You

Tell us about one place in the Bay Area that you love and why. You can also choose a place you've never been to but want to visit. *

Do you have any experience working in teams or with others (sports, school projects, clubs, extracurricular activities, etc.). Pick something about it that was challenging or difficult and explain how you handled it. *

Please list any community programs, groups, or organizations you have ever been involved with. Briefly describe your involvement. *

What is your strongest communication skill (storytelling, listening, creative writing, etc.)? And what is one communication skill you'd like to improve (public speaking, reading, etc.)? *

What was it like having a parent in jail or prison? What did you learn and what do you wish others could understand? *

Pretend you are going to speak to a group of police officers, guards, teachers, or social workers. Which of these groups would you most want to speak to? And what would you want them to know about your life and how they could do their jobs better? *

Who is one person that has helped you deal with having a parent in jail or prison? How did this person help? If you don't feel like anyone has helped, feel free to say this – it will not count against you in the selection process. *

Which Project WHAT! program would you like to join?

Is there anything else you'd like us to know about you or that you'd like to say? (Optional)

Once the Project WHAT! team has reviewed your application, they’ll send emails or texts to schedule interviews with candidates.

Pay & other compensation:

  • $25/session for summer training (twice a week) + $100 bonus for great attendance
  • $10-12/hour during regular program (weekly) throughout the year
  • $25-$50/presentation at each conference or training
  • We also provide transportation (MUNI, BART, etc.) stipends and snacks

Responsibilities & expectations:

  • Write your personal story, including take-home assignments and feedback from an instructor
  • Attend skill trainings for public speaking, facilitation, and strategic sharing
  • Attend workshops about the justice system, the prison industrial complex, and trauma
  • Attend program meetings with the rest of the PW team throughout the year
  • Present to adults and youth at conferences or other events around the Bay Area
  • As opportunities arise, you may be chosen to represent PW across the country