Hispañas Youth Leadership Program (HYLP)

HLYP is the youth component of the statewide program, Hispañas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). The program is designed to prepare low-income, high school-age Latinas for higher education as well as future personal and professional success. Every year, four young women from eight counties across the state are selected to participate. YLI administers the program in Fresno County.

HOPE really changed the way that I see myself, it made me realize the importance of giving back and being involved in civic engagement. I now have the tools to make a difference within my community.
Priscilla Vidal

HYLP is the youth component of the statewide program, Hispañas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE). The program is designed to prepare low-income, high school-age Latinas for higher education as well as future personal and professional success. Every year, four young women from eight counties across the state are selected to participate. YLI administers the program in Fresno County.

Each cycle, the cohort attends leadership trainings, meets with local elected officials, and conducts a survey of their fellow Latina students about a range of issues that affect them. Based on survey results, the young women create a video that presents the problem, the research, and their recommendations for improving the quality of life for Latinas in the county to Fresno’s City Council. In spring, they participate in Latina Action Day in Sacramento to advocate for youth in the areas of education, health and immigration.

I never imagined that I would be in a room full of strong, empowering, and educated Latina women, and one day I will contribute to the rising number of educated Latinas.
Lizbeth Gutierrez

In 2018, HYLP youth advocated for AB2965, which would provide Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented adults whose incomes are at or below the federal poverty level. Their advocacy efforts were based research they conducted showing that many high school seniors don’t have health insurance. They also rallied behind Senate Bill 946 — just signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown — that decriminalizes sidewalk vending in the state and requires cities that want to regulate the industry to create a permit process.

This 6-month program is open to Latinas who are juniors in Fresno County high schools. Applicants can apply between November-December each year. Participants meet every other week between January and June, and are expected to attend three statewide conferences.

Calls to Action