Blue Boat: The shared voice of youth and young adult ministries of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Young Adults at General Assembly

a young man speaks into a microphone, two young adults stand at a podium onstage, a young woman speaks into a microphone

The four YA@GA staff from General Assembly 2015

By Stevie Carmody

About YA@GA

Young Adults at General Assembly (YA@GA) exists to support, connect, and transform young adults and folks of all generations at UUA General Assembly. In part, YA@GA is a harbor for us to gather and build power collectively. In part, YA@GA is a site of multigenerational joy, learning, and exploration. In practice, that looks like worship, workshops, hang-outs, caucusing, and other activities, that center the experience of young adults (even if they're not just for young adults).

The UUA uses the phrase "Young Adult" to refer to folks ages 18–35 years old, though our congregational communities may have other ways of designating that age range. Additionally, you might hear reference to "Emerging Adult," a subcategory of Young Adulthood for folks between the ages 18–24 years old. Though emerging adults have a wide variety of contexts and experiences, there's a growing recognition that we need resources and support for this specific life stage. Nonetheless, Young Adult at General Assembly programming is for all UUs ages 18–35 years old, and welcomes folks of all generations to some of its spaces.

The program focus of Young Adults at General Assembly has shifted. We know that GA 2023 will be a multi-platform event that attends to the ongoing reality of the pandemic. At GAs 2020, and 2021 we learned a lot of things about emergent online spaces, youth and young adult collective-building, and how our communities and institutions need to continue to transform in relations to young people. A powerful Responsive Resolution was passed in support of ministries to Youth and Young Adults.

In response, the UUA staff at the Office of Lifespan Faith Engagement (which includes some of, but not all, of our denomination's support to youth and young adult ministries) worked with GA2020 youth and young adult leaders to reconceive the program focus and staffing structure of GA Youth and YA@GA. For Young Adults coming to General Assembly, the vision for YA@GA this year is a program that is co-created, emergent, and responsive to young adults.

We know that young adults come to General Assembly with a range of experiences and identities. We are college students; we are young professionals. We are lifelong Unitarian Universalists (UUs); we are newcomers to the faith. We are single; we are partnered; we have children. We are thoroughly involved in this religious movement; we may want to be; we may not know how to be.

Connect with YA@GA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (@YoungAdultsatGA).

Our Staff

The YA@GA team is led by two co-facilitators who serve staggered two-year terms. This year, there are four additional staff on the team, who are selected through an application process in the fall. Throughout the year, the staff get training in emergent facilitation, represent YA interest in GA planning, and build relationships with young adult communities and other UU folks—all in the end to support Young Adults in claiming their Voices, nourishing their Spirits, and connecting in Community. When we meet in-person, the team has their travel, room, board, & registration covered by the UUA and grants from the General Assembly planning committee. When we have virtual GA (like GA 2021), the staff receives a commensurate stipend for their work.

Financial Aid

Several forms of financial aid, discounts and scholarships are available to young adults attending General Assembly.

You are encouraged to use the Youth and Young Adult Scholarship Form (link to Wufoo Form) for General Assembly 2023 to get a discount code to apply to your registration. You can get $100, $200 or $300 off the registration price.

Additionally, Volunteers have their registration paid in exchange for a number of volunteer hours at GA.

Financial Aid for Housing

If you are using the UUA GA Housing Reservation System to book housing, you can apply for $600 in lodging credit by using the Financial Support Application for General Assembly 2023. And, as always, Faithify is available for you to do some crowdsourcing.

Travel Reimbursements

Youth and young adults traveling to UUA events can request travel reimbursement by providing anticipated costs or travel receipts. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color youth and young adults can request up to $625, white youth and young adults can request up to $250. Please fill out this Travel Reimbursement for UUA Events form .

Rev. Erik Martinez Resly talks about building community through arts at the YA@GA sponsored program "GA Talks."

Two young adults stand behind a podium with the UUA logo on the front. A young man gestures toward the bandana tied onto a young woman's neck.

YA@GA's 2014 co-facilitators model the fashionable light blue handkerchiefs they wore during GA to remain visible to others as YA@GA staff.