Being a footnote in the story of someone’s success or in my community’s positive change for the better is how I measure my success.
Cynthia Sapien Rocha, a Kerman CA native, has been a part of the yli team since August 2009. A graduate from the University of the Pacific, she currently serves as yli’s Central Valley Director of Programs and leads work to create healthy and equitable communities in Fresno, Madera, Merced and Tulare counties. Over the past 14 years, she has partnered with youth, addressing root causes to community issues, and identifying solutions that elevate youth voices and create positive, sustainable change. She strongly believes that all youth have the capacity to lead positive community change with the support of community allies, and is committed to encouraging their active involvement in the policy and decision-making processes that affect their family, friends and community.
Working alongside staff and youth, Cynthia has helped lead successful social norms, media, access, and policy/systems change campaigns to address health inequities in Fresno county. One of yli’s recent wins includes the Responsible Neighborhood Market Act, which places stricter regulations on density and proximity of alcohol retailers to schools, parks and substance-use treatment centers in the City of Fresno. She also supported youth in leading a Smoke and Tobacco Free Park policy in her hometown of Kerman. As a Trainer for yli’s Training and Consulting Services, Cynthia has also had the privilege of training both youth and adults across California and the U.S. on evidence-based youth leadership development strategies.
Cynthia’s passions include community, youth, family, and the arts. Cynthia is in the process of completing a Master’s degree in Leadership, Leading for Social Impact. When she is not at work, you can find her spending time with her husband David and son Davie and being a pet parent to her fur babies Roxy, Iroh, and Cash.