Friday Night Live (FNL) is a statewide organization that addresses underage substance abuse. At YLI, we take a social justice lens to the work, shifting the focus from individual behaviors to the larger patterns of injustice that target young, low-income people of color and encourage unhealthy behaviors. By helping youth identify issues in their communities, conduct research, and implement media and policy campaigns, YLI doesn’t simply deter young people from substance abuse — we help to shape powerful advocates who create lasting change in their communities.
In San Mateo County, there are currently 12 Friday Night Live chapters across the geographically diverse county from semi-urban South San Francisco in the North, suburban Redwood City in the South, and rural Pescadero on the Coast.
YLI-led chapters include:
- San Mateo County Youth Commission: Adam Wilson
- Coastside Youth Council: Margarita Vasquez and Smitha Gundavajhala
- Healthy Youth-Led Policy and Empowerment: Shalin Craig and Smitha Gundavajhala
- Pilarcitos High School Chapter: Shalin Craig
Some FNL Chapter are run and staffed by local Community-Based Organizations (CBOs). YLI offers trainings and technical support to help these organizations adopt our social justice framework. These include:
- Friends for Youth Club Live Chapter at McKinley Middle School, Redwood City
- Friends for Youth Club Live Chapter at Hoover Middle School, Redwood City
- Be the Change Youth Council at Pacifica
- Students Making A Change at South San Francisco
- Peer Mediators at Sequoia High School, Redwood City
- Youth Advisory Board at Sequoia High School, Redwood City
- North Fair Oaks Youth Initiative at Siena Youth Center in North Fair Oaks
- Youth to Youth Mentoring in Pacifica
These chapters have engaged in numerous successful campaigns. For example, Be the Change Youth Council led the 2013 and 2016 Healthy Stores for a Healthy Community Campaigns, Digital Storytelling, and is currently working on developing workshops for the Family Summit in Pacifica. They are also working to stop Taco Bell from opening a “cantina” in Pacifica.
Most chapters meet weekly.