August eNews
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YLI is my Story!

Youth Release Film on Educational Inequity
& Share Stories from Their Communities

Beyond the Surface is a youth-created documentary highlighting educational inequities in Marin County’s school system and discussing what actions need to be taken to ensure a future where every student has access to the same high quality of education.

This film is produced by Marin County Youth Commission's 14-15 Educational Advisory Committee.

Stay tuned for screenings this fall!

Youth Voices Story: Abdellatif Benterkia

My name is Abdellatif Benterkia (photo above, third from left), and I am a youth philanthropist in BLING, a San Francisco YLI program. On July 9-11 I attended Free Minds Free People Conference in Oakland, California. It was my first time ever attending a social justice conference. I met a lot of people whom came from different backgrounds. It was very emotional to me seeing that amount of people, fighting for something that I am passionate about and that’s unique.

I was featured on a panel called “Funding Our Liberation: Lessons from Youth Philanthropy.” The panel was made up of three youth from San Francisco youth philanthropy programs. One panelist described her social enterprise project that used indigenous clothing from Guatemala to make trendy jackets in the U.S. We also hosted a gallery walk where we featured some of the projects we funded, including Indigenous Roots: a youth organized project for the community that taught community people how to cook traditional food. Another project was For Girls By Girls: this youth project fundraised money to create scholarships for low-income girls to attend college.

It was a highlight for me to speak to over 20 audience members who were from all areas of the country, and they were looking to us as an example for how philanthropy could look differently in their own communities. On our panel, we emphasized youth power. Youth know what youth need. We can create and fund projects that are solutions to the needs of our communities. We have the ability to harness money and use it in a good way to improve our communities. [READ MORE]

Youth Development Professionals Gather from Across California

On July 22-25, YLI staff joined 115 youth educators from 52 counties for a 3-day Leadership Training Institute in Visalia, for the California Friday Night Live Partnership, a statewide movement that builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development. YLI facilitated several sessions, including a standing room only training on recruitment and retention.

YLI Brings Photovoice to Maryland

This July, YLI partnered with St. Mary’s County, Maryland Department of Aging & Human Services to present a 2-day Photovoice Workshop with 15 local youth and their adult allies at the College of Southern Maryland. The goal of the workshop was to equip youth with the skills and knowledge necessary to conduct a Photovoice research project addressing substance use and abuse in their schools and communities. Photovoice empowers community members to tell visual stories of their experiences. One youth participant reported: “I learned that as a youth, there is a lot I can do to try and change my environment.”

Fernando Aguilar Speaks at 29th Annual National Conference on Problem Gambling in Baltimore

Fernando is a superstar young person in our San Mateo office who has led the youth movement in PAID: Peninsula Advocates Investigating Debt Traps. "We created a survey to see if [people in our community] knew what a payday lender is, see if they know how it affects our communities," Fernando told the audience at this professional conference. "And once they were educated about what it is, they were willing to support us in making changes in our communities by going to city council meetings. The majority of people [we talked to] would agree that it's wrong."

Fernando and adult allies Fahad Qurashi and Jim Kooler from the California Friday Night Live Partnership shared findings from their youth-led community organizing efforts that has catalyzed an economic and financial justice movement in the Bay Area, and led to the passage of several ordinances limiting payday lending in South San Francisco and Daly City.
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