Leadership Development – Leadership development is part of the youth development process and supports the young person in developing the ability to analyze his or her own strengths and weaknesses, set personal and vocational goals, have the self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and abilities to carry them out, and the ability to guide or direct others on a course of action.
Youth Philanthropy – Youth and adults catalyzing giving to support youth development and impact community change.

Community Organizing – Youth and adults addressing inequity through changing the social norms in their communities and building coalitions.


Youth Advocacy Leadership League (Leadership Development)

centralvalley1The Youth Advocacy Leadership League (YALL) is a team of youth leaders who represent various chapters and campaigns throughout Fresno County. YALL exists to develop critical consciousness, facilitate relationship building, and youth- adult partnerships while utilizing a train-the-trainer model to build skills and knowledge for all youth leaders.

For more information contact: Cynthia Sapien Rocha csapien@yli.org



SENTT: South East Neighborhood Transformation Team (Community Organizing)


South East Neighborhood Transformation Team (SENT) is united to empower the voice of the community through their lens, with a youth perspective that leads to sustainable transformation. They work to change the social norms in their communities, to empower young people to resist drugs and alcohol, and make healthy choices.

Watch this ABC News Feature on their recent social norms campaign.

SENT on the YLI Blog

For more information contact: Yammilette Rodriguez at yrodriguez@yli.org

central_valley_boysnmenBoys and Men of Color (Community Organizing)

The Fresno Boys and Men of Color (BMoC) is a brotherhood of young men, boys, and adult allies. It provides space for participants to develop meaningful, lasting relationships. It provides a forum for participants to engage in critical dialogue about issues that affect their lives. It offers participants opportunities to develop as leaders and as individuals. It builds a coalition of youth and adult allies to advocate for policy and systemic changes so that all young people living in Fresno can thrive and succeed.

Watch this News Feature on their implementation of a Youth Advisory Council for the Fresno Police.

BMoC on the YLI Blog

For more information contact: Sher Moua at smoua@yli.org

HOPE: Hispañas Organize for Political Equality (Leadership Development)

Hispañas Organized for Political Equality’s (HOPE) Youth Leadership Program is a statewide development program designed to prepare low-income, high school age Latinas for higher education attainment as well as future personal and professional success.

In a recent HOPE project, participants from Fresno surveyed their fellow Latina students and presented their findings on healthy eating and body image. They then translated those findings into their own video, which included interviewing community members and local politicians on what actions they are taking to improve the quality of life for Latinas in Fresno County. Throughout this process, they attended leadership trainings in Los Angeles and Sacramento, met with local elected officials, and received recognition for their work by Fresno’s City Council.

For more information contact: Yammilette Rodriguez at yrodriguez@yli.org

Youth Leadership Advisory Board (Youth Philanthropy)

The purpose of the Youth Leadership Advisory Board (YLAB) is to develop a group of youth leaders/organizers that are representative of our community, are spokespeople for the youth movement, build capacity for the organization and community, assist with the creation of youth-driven tools and resources, and through their philanthropic efforts empower the youth of Fresno County to engage in positive social change.

For more information contact: Cynthia Sapien-Rocha at csapien@yli.org

Fresno County Friday Night Live Network (Health Equity: Underage Alcohol Prevention)

cental_valley3Fresno County Friday Night Live Network (FNL) is a network of chapters comprised of middle and high school aged youth and adult partners engaged as active leaders and resources in their communities. The FNL Chapters implement community change projects and are supported by YLI staff to ensure chapters are aligned with the Standards of Practice and Operating Principles of chapters across the 52 counties in California. Our FNL Network builds upon our youth-led action research strategy in order to develop community change projects based in data driven recommendations that seek to implement sustainable change. Current FNL Chapters include Roosevelt High School, Fresno High School, Edison High School, Sunnyside High School, Gaston Middle School, Gateway Middle School, Kerman High School, Kerman Middle School, Fireball High School, Selma High School. All chapters are working to reduce the prevalence of underage drinking and focus on changing norms by working with peers to expose perceptions and realities of underage drinking and uses positive social norming approaches through media campaigns highlighting positive peer pressure.

For more information contact: Yammilette Rodriguez at yrodriguez@yli.org

Fresno Youth Commission

FYC_CollageThe Fresno Youth Commission is bringing Fresno’s young people to the decision-making table on issues impactful to youth within the jurisdiction of the city. The Youth Commission is a space where young people can work to create positive change in our community. Young people will have a voice in shaping and developing social, economic, recreational, and educational programs that serve youth.

The City of Fresno Youth Commission is comprised of 16 individuals, eight voting members and eight alternate, non-voting members. Two members represent each of Fresno’s seven city council districts and two are appointed at-large by the Mayor.  Procedures are in place to ensure that the members of the Youth Commission are representative and inclusive of the rich diversity of the City of Fresno, including but not limited to:

  • Ethnically and culturally diverse youth,
  • youth with health disparities,
  • youth who are out of school,
  • youth who are unemployed,
  • youth who are homeless, and
  • youth who are LGBTQIA

Youth Commissioners are trained and supported by Youth Leadership Institute and the City of Fresno. Each year, Youth Commissioners benefit from youth leadership training and prioritize those issues that most impact youth and/or that have little or no youth input or representation.

For more information contact: Jose Espinoza jespinoza@yli.org