• Stipend/Gift Card
  • School Credit
  • Community Service/Volunteer Hours
  • Authorship on Publications/Letters to the Editor
  • Transportation Reimbursement
  • Grant/Scholarship

Calafia is yli’s statewide youth policy journal that amplifies the narratives of young people on topics and issue areas important to them and their communities.

Calafia Fellows are selected every year from each yli office to create and edit the issue’s theme and the stories presented. They are also mentored by experienced reporters, travel to statewide and national media conferences, and learn the steps to producing a printed publication.


In 2023-2024, Calafia fellows created the podcast, False Promises: the Chasm between Home and Hope to uplift the voices and experiences of people impacted by injustice.

This year, Calafia veterans Nancy Aguilar and Katelyn Chang helped us pilot our newest component of the program, the 3rd Year Special Project. Working with Pulitzer finalist Bernice Yeung as their mentor, they developed a 4 episode podcast called The Creative Code, which explores the impact of generative AI on youth creatives. Over the 9 months, they built their own project curriculum, conducted interviews with representatives from the National Writers Union and former Marvel employees, and surveyed over 100 youth creatives about their experiences with AI. The podcast was picked up by the online news outlet, Capital & Main, which wrote a feature story about the project.


HOT OFF PRESSES: Calafia’s newest print publication, False Promises: the Chasm between Home and Hope!! Download your copies in English and Spanish below, and fill out this interest form or contact Jarret Ramones at [email protected] to order your FREE print copies. Calafia’s past issues have focused on youth criminal justice reform, educational equity, and addressing stigmas within communities of color – the issues are available for download below!

Interested in Applying?

  • Are you between the ages of 16-22?
  • Do you live in California?
  • Are you passionate about writing/journalism and social justice?

Sounds like you’re a perfect fit for Calafia – Youth Leadership Institute’s statewide youth journalism program!!

From September to May, you’ll learn how to write personal narratives, opinion editorials, and podcasts – and work with a professional journalist and earn a stipend along the way! Expectations include:

  • Attend one, 1 1/2 hr meeting per week
  • Meet with media mentors
  • Conduct research and interviews
  • Complete several journalistic assignments that will be compiled into a print and digital pub

Interested in applying? We are hosting 2 MANDATORY youth orientations on July 16th (4-5pm) and July 18th (7-8pm). Interested youth *must* attend ONE of the following sessions to apply:

Applications are due on Friday, July 26th.

You can take a look at the application form, but we highly recommend you wait to fill it out until after the orientation. **AI generated applications will be automatically disqualified!!

Read the Latest Calafia Stories

The Reality of Life As A Motorhome Resident in the Bay Area

yli is My Story

It’s essential to be a good neighbor to people who are struggling economically. People living in a motorhome are often ignored and vilified. It’s so important to see them as humans, and to see them as your neighbor. They are somebody’s child and they have a family, just like all of us.

Foothill Gold Line Bursts Suburban Bubble

yli is My Story

Glendora is no longer the self-imagined Shangri-la, protected from the discomfort and unattractiveness of wealth disparity, that many of its settled-in residents have always conceived of it as.

A Voice from Gaza

yli is My Story

When I tell you I have hope, it’s more of a wish that this all ends very soon and we can go back to our homes in Gaza City if it still exists. I can’t speak about hope now. I can only be wishful about my family returning back home eventually and being safe right now.