#YouthVoice

Queens and Kings: Daya’s Poem

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YLI is My Story

Queens and Kings –by Daya Smith-Mojica U see i tried to build myself back up because i didn’t like who i saw in the mirror but as i tried to fix a broken image i had to come to terms that this is what i’ve created i’ve created a reflection of manifestation manifesting everything i’ve … Continued

We Stand with the Dreamers

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YLI is My Story

Dear YLI friends and family, It is with conflicted heart that I write you in response to the ongoing politics in Washington, D.C. as it relates to the 800,000 young people who are part of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The truth is, DACA impacts all of us, regardless of our immigration status. The undocumented … Continued

Begin at the Beginning: New Merced Office Gears up to Listen and Learn

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Our History

On Wednesday, February 28th, YLI will be expanding our offices for the first time in 14 years! This expansion celebrates the incredible work of YLI’s youth, communities, and staff over our 27 years to include youth voice in local decision-making.  The strength of our youth leadership programs in the San Francisco Bay Area and Fresno County have paved … Continued

Trump Freezes Critical Resource for Mental Illness and Substance-Abuse

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YLI is My Story

Where do community health professionals go to find effective interventions for preventing and treating mental illness and substance-use disorders? The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, a database containing hundreds of scientifically-proven therapies, is the go-to for mental health and addiction specialists. But new additions to this invaluable resource have been blocked indefinitely by … Continued

When Organizing Gets Personal: Fighting PayDay Lending in Pacifica

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YLI is My Story

“Social change really hit me right before the election…There is no longer a neutral.” Karina Gamez, 16, knew she had to do something after the November presidential election last year. She had learned about payday lending when YLI staff made a presentation on economic justice at Oceana High School. This predatory financial practice targets low-income … Continued

Marin County Youth Commissioners Policy Win Reduces Youth Drug Use

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Campaign Victories

Last month, YLI celebrated its 103rd policy win! The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to enhance the Social Host Ordinance (SHO), which holds adults responsible for underage alcohol and drug use in their households whether or not the adults are present. The amendment included adding marijuana to the language, expanding locations to include party buses … Continued

The San Mateo County Youth Commission Gets it Done!

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YLI is My Story

The San Mateo County Youth Commission gets it done! From the environment and immigration, to digital privacy and the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, 25 youth commissioners between the ages 14-21 addressed the critical issues affecting our communities. With special assistance from Supervisor Carole Groom’s office and the San Mateo County Health System, we … Continued

YLI Celebrates Jenny Lee’s Four Years of Youth Leadership

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YLI is My Story

“My journey throughout Washington [High School] has transformed me. I remember my first day, when I was a bit nervous, shy, and lost, surrounded by red lockers and heather grey hallways, I had no idea where the gym was, nor my next English class. Despite my struggles, I soon found more opportunities to grow from … Continued