The Youth Advocacy Leadership League (YALL) represents the next step in youth leadership in Fresno County. Made up of seasoned youth leaders from across YLI’s Fresno programs, YALL supports youth in ramping up their leadership skills and building relationships across programs.
Every year, YALL youth leaders organize YLI’s Fall Fest and Summer Jam, bi-annual events that offer critical resources to young people, highlight youth leaders, and create opportunities for young people to learn from each other. They also plan and organize the annual Community Youth Summit, which brings together elected officials, partners, parents, youth, and stakeholders to celebrate youth-led campaign successes across the Valley.
In 2016, YALL add a new component to their program — county-wide Reducing Alcohol Access to Youth (RAAY) campaigns. Each year, the youth plan and implement a campaign to address underage drinking by identifying and limiting key points of access to alcohol.
In this first year, YALL youth leaders launched Lucky Ducky, a “social norms” campaign that works to combat stereotypes around youth alcohol use. Since peers are among the primary access points to alcohol, the goal of the campaign was to reduce peer pressure by showing that far fewer youth drink (or even think it’s cool) than commonly perceived. The youth conducted surveys and shared data points in schools throughout the county through a series of fun activities.
In 2017, the youth implemented the powerful Sticker Shock Campaign, which partnered with the local FoodsCo. to hold liquor stores — a main point of access for alcohol — accountable for selling to minors. They held a press conference and labeled packs of alcohol with warning stickers to educate adults about underage drinking. The story was aired on the local TV station, ABC 30 Action News, as well as The Fresno Bee.
In 2018, the youth are planning the “Not on my Watch” campaign, which supports parents in limiting access to alcohol within their homes. The campaign involves crafting a template for family alcohol policies and lawn signs for parents who take a copy of the template. In the spirit of collaboration and community organizing, the youth shared their project idea and messaging at town hall in September to gather input and buy-in for the project.
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This program is open to all youth who are currently participating in YLI’s Fresno County programs. Applications are open between May-August of each year. Participants are expected to attend our 2-day Summer Leadership Camp at the end of July/early August, and meet twice monthly throughout the year.