Melissa A. Winn

Know a Teen That Loves History? The American Battlefield Trust’s Youth Leadership Team Is Looking To Fill Its Ranks

Through an open application process, the preservation and education nonprofit will determine a select group of American teens to shine a light on history’s relevance in their own communities

Colleen Cheslak-Poulton, (202) 367-1861 x7234 

(Washington, D.C.) — Youth with a hunger for history and a penchant for preservation are encouraged to apply to the American Battlefield Trust’s Youth Leadership Team for the 2023-2024 school year. This competitively selected group of high schoolers, aged 15-18, serves as the youth face and voice of the leading battlefield preservation organization, inspiring a love for America’s historic treasures through efforts spanning history education, preservation and visitation. An outstanding leadership opportunity with a historical twist, the program is accepting applications until July 1, 2023.  

“Since 2019, the Trust’s Youth Leadership Team has provided a channel for the organization to learn from bright, young students from across the nation, and instill within them an even deeper love of history and the importance of preservation,” said Trust President David Duncan. “We supply them with opportunities and tools to elevate historic resources in their communities; they give us insight on how current-day students are connecting with the past.”  

YLT at Antietam 2023
Members of the 2022-23 Youth Leadership Team on a tour of the Antietam Battlefield with the Trust's Chief Historian Garry Adelman Melissa A. Winn

Over the course of the academic year, the program will position members to pursue adventure, creativity, an expanded network and a greater understanding of the American past and present-day efforts to preserve it. Benefits include all-expenses paid travel (with relevant guidelines respected) to Washington, D.C., for a lobbying experience on Capitol Hill, as well as an off-site trip to the Trust’s Annual Conference — the perfect opportunity to network with our nation’s leaders in historic preservation. All members are required to complete capstone projects that encourage their communities to consider history’s ongoing relevance. Setting members up for future success and providing a broad understanding of nonprofit operations, all will receive training in leadership, program management, media relations and fundraising.  

Current and former Youth Leadership Team members have already proven that this program yields a tangible impact across a broad spectrum of historical topics. John (YLT 2019-2020) produced a three-episode audio drama showcasing the experiences of those who fought at King’s Mountain. Ashlyn (YLT 2020-2021) created a scavenger hunt that encourages extensive exploration of Gettysburg National Military Park. Sydney (YLT 2021-2022) wrote a children’s book about disguised female soldiers during the Civil War, enlisting an illustrator to pair her text with eye-catching visuals. Ella (YLT 2022-2023) is developing a pattern book and reference guide for modern reenactors using current-day terminology and including a variety of crochet patterns.  

The Trust sees these young leaders as a key element in safeguarding the future of America’s historic sites, as they will carry forth concepts and knowledge acquired from the Youth Leadership Team and weave them into the fabric of their everyday lives. Acknowledging its profound effects, the Pipkin Charitable Foundation is a generous supporter of the program.  

If you know a student interested in participating, please encourage them to apply. For more details and information, please visit 

The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 56,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War across 155 sites in 25 states. Learn more at