An aerial view taken from a Coast Guard helicopter showing the continuing effects of flooding caused by Hurricane Joaquin in areas surrounding Charleston, Oct. 5, 2015 | U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) invites teens from communities across the Southeast to apply for the group’s National Youth Preparedness Council, a program that provides an opportunity for young leaders to share their perspectives on disaster preparedness with FEMA emergency managers and grow their leadership skills.

Participating youth are encouraged to share their academic achievements, future goals, past leadership experiences and more. Council members are selected based on their passion for preparedness and helping others, community involvement and their aptitude for teamwork.

Students in grades 8-11 are eligible to apply. Applications are open online. Applicants must submit a completed written or video application, two letters of recommendation, academic records and a list of extracurricular activities.

Applications and supporting materials must be received by March 7. Applicants will also be considered for Region IV’s Youth Preparedness Council.

New council members will be announced in May.