The Community Action Model Youth Leadership Project (CAM YLP) engages Bay Area youth, ages 18–24, who are interested in improving community health and making a positive change in San Francisco communities. Through the program, youth identify the inequities in their communities — for instance, the high density of liquor stores and advertisements promoting unhealthy behavior in low-income — as well as the deep value and beauty of underrepresented communities that is often overlooked, exploited, and erased by those in power.
As they develop the language and framing to share their experiences and confront damaging policies, systems, and environments, youth develop the tools to become powerful advocates for themselves and their communities. Following the YLI model for youth development, the youth plan and conduct their own research, and work directly with local decision-makers to offer policy recommendations that improve conditions for the city’s youth.
In 2017-2018, CAM youth leaders researched price promotions — marketing ploys that the tobacco industry uses to circumvent minimum price laws and entice people to purchase their products. The campaign built on 7 years of work and significant milestones, shared in the CAM and TURF blog posts.
The program is open to all transitional age (18-24) youth in the Bay Area. Applications are open in Spring (late February-early March). Participants are expected to attend a 1-day retreat in March, followed by weekly meetings throughout the year.