Merced and Madera

Opening in February 2018, the Merced office was the first YLI expansion in 14 years. Program staff and freshly minted youth leaders in the Girls & Women of Color (GWoC) and Rise & Lift programs dove right in with their #MErcedToo campaign, addressing sexual misconduct in the Merced Unified High School District.

By summer, the office was already growing as YLI merged with youth media organization, YouthWire. As part of this merge, Merced’s YLI office took in the We’Ced program, which had been operating in Merced since 2011, training young people in storytelling skills and amplifying their voices on issues that matter to them and their communities.

The office also begun to extend its reach into neighboring Madera, where the Madera Youth Commission and Student Advocacy Council have just been established. The Madera site now operates as a satellite office. 

Over the next year, the Merced office will be working to establish YLI’s innovative, powerful youth programming while building strong relationships within the community. The programs are driven by La Cultura Cura curriculum, which integrates policy advocacy change and healing from trauma. It is youth-led, adult-supported, and elder-guided.

Current Programs

Timeline of Wins in Merced and Madera

May 13, 2019 · 

First Madera Youth Commission Sworn In

On April 3rd, 5 young people were officially sworn-in to serve on the very first term of the newly established City-Wide Youth Commission. This is an historic moment in the history of the City of Madera, demonstrating City Hall’s commitment to including youth at the decision-making table.

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December 14, 2018 · 

Youth Win ‘Cultivators of Change’ Award

BHC Merced awarded two ‘Cultivators of Change’ awards to YLI young people. First, We’Ced Youth Media was recognized for their part in leading the Trans Day of Remembrance + Trans & Intersex Rights March Merced which was the first ever in Merced County. Girls and Womyn of Color were also awarded the prize because of … Continued

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