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.

Health Equity – Youth and adults addressing inequity through data driven recommendations and policy solutions impacting schools, communities, and the city.

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

Marin County Youth Commission (Leadership Development)

marin2Founded in 1969, the Marin County Youth Commission (MCYC) is one of the oldest and most well regarded youth commissions in the United States. Appointed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors and made up of twenty diverse youth between the ages of 12 and 22, MCYC acts as a political voice for young people by engaging with the Board of Supervisors and other policy makers.

Supported by YLI allies, MCYC conducts community-based research throughout the County to develop impactful youth advocacy and social justice campaigns. In many cases these campaigns entail changing existing policies or laws, or establishing new ones that are launched and led by MCYC. Each year, Commissioners benefit from youth leadership training and prioritize those issues that most impact youth and/or have little or no youth input or representation.

“The MCYC has helped me to realize the power of our words, and the power of understanding how to use our own voice. It has helped me to comprehend how much we can gain just by doing what is utterly forbidden-talking out issues with the ones we trust, event if that means (dare I say) talking about politics at the dinner table.” – Ruby Ray Clarke, 8th Grader

Commissioners currently focus on 3 issue areas:

  • The Education Equity Advisory Committee is disseminating Beyond the Surface, a youth-led documentary video that exposes the inequities existing throughout the 19 separate school districts in the County. Commissioners use this research to develop and advocate for new policies.
  • The Food Justice Advisory Committee works to establish a connection between school gardens and healthy eating, so that the 27% of public school students in Marin who qualify for free and reduced lunches have their right to have access to healthy and affordable food met.
  • The Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention Advisory Committee is leading a policy campaign urging school districts to adopt restorative justice practices that would include those that are caught using alcohol or drugs and this group is also part of a countywide coalition focused on policy change to reduce youth access to alcohol.

Annual recruitment for MCYC starts in the late April of each year, with each term running from August through May.

MCYC on the YLI Blog

For more information contact: Wendy Cortes –

Friday Night Live – Marin County Chapters (Health Equity: Underage Alcohol Prevention)

marin3In the suburban communities of Marin, YLI currently supports a network of 9 chapters. The program builds upon 24 years of successful prevention programs that have become the cornerstone for youth engagement for YLI and all FNL chapters in the State of California. In an effort to reduce underage drinking, youth lead efforts to improve their communities by limiting accessibility and availability of alcohol, improving the social norms, developing media messages, impacting policy, and more.

Recent outcomes of Marin County FNL Chapters:

  • All Marin County FNL Chapters campaigned and advocated for Social Host ordinances adopted throughout Marin.
  • “No-Bully Solutions Team” Programs and media messages (feature video and PSA’s) to educate youth on changing perceptions held regarding a risk factor that is prevalent in early adolescent school environments.
  • A “Faux Show Party” to educate parents, school administrators, and public officials on the realities of what actually happens in a party where underage youth engage in drinking. It highlighted everything from how a party goes viral to the risky behaviors that often surface (including drunk driving, risky sexual encounters, and property damage). The demonstration was followed by a Youth Panel to provide a youth perspective for how parents can be vigilant and supportive of the socializing of teenagers.

For more information contact: Anna Salem –

Marin County Communities Mobilizing for Change on Alcohol (CMCA) Coalition (Community Organizing)

marin4The Marin County CMCA Coalition is working to reduce underage drinking and the impacts of alcohol on our communities by addressing policy from a countywide, multi-stakeholder perspective. This multi-generational coalition represents youth, school, community, policy, prevention, and non-profit stakeholders throughout Marin County. The coalition works to create new or strengthen existing policies and norms in our neighborhoods, which make alcohol less readily available and desirable for underage youth.

For more information contact: Fahad Qurashi –