Coastside Youth Council (CYC) has been leading community change projects for over 4 years in Half Moon Bay. They focus on solutions to underage alcohol use by examining and addressing the environments and messages that encourage unhealthy behaviors.
In 2018, CYC focused on reducing the messages that youth are bombarded with every day. CYC attended the Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival and visited 8 convenient stores located near schools and youth-centered spaces, noting how alcohol is being advertised and how it targets youth. They also conducted a photovoice project, using powerful images collected from their homes and neighborhoods, to illustrate how unhealthy behaviors are reinforced and normalized within communities.
CYC is comprised of youth leaders from Half Moon Bay High School, Pilarcitos Alternative High School and the College of San Mateo between the ages of 15-20. Most hail from working-class communities, immigrant families, and first-generation college backgrounds. They organize community service opportunities, advocate for safe and healthy environments, and work on policies that benefit youth.