YAN April Newsletter
Youth Action Network Updates
2021 Institutional Challenge Grant
UC Santa Cruz and United Way of Santa Cruz County were Awarded National Institutional Challenge Grant to Empower Youth Leadership! This new research partnership will offer local youth and UC Santa Cruz undergraduates new leadership platforms and support college readiness. Follow this link to read more: https://bit.ly/3szq868

The Youth Action Network is looking forward to working closely with professors and undergraduate students from UCSC to support our work moving forward! We are also excited to share this opportunity with the Jovenes SANOS team to empower youth leadership and youth voice across Santa Cruz County!

Stay tuned to learn more about this work and amazing opportunity!
YAN April Planning Committee Meetings

During this month's planning committee meetings, we did a countywide assessment of youth voice within Santa Cruz County based on the experiences of youth leaders on our team. We had collaborative group discussions about where youth is most present, where it is only called upon when needed, and where is it not present. We also discussed sectors and places that could further incorporate more youth voices in decision-making.

We plan to wrap up planning committee meetings during the month of May and plan to take all of the ideas and lessons learned to the YAN Steering Committee retreat this summer. During the retreat, we will establish an annual work plan of activities to collectively increase youth voice across Santa Cruz County!
Youth Shared Safety Community Dialogues
During the month of April, the United Way of Santa Cruz County Shared Safety Workgroup partnered with COPA & Watsonville United 4 Youth Partners (bolded) and other community leaders, representing:

  • Community Action Board,
  • Conflict Resolution Center of Santa Cruz County,
  • Living Evolution,
  • Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance,
  • Santa Cruz County Administrative Office,
  • Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Office,
  • Santa Cruz County Office of Education,
  • Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County,
  • Walnut Avenue Family & Women's Center,
  • Youth NOW
to host a Youth Shared Safety Community Dialogues on April 12th with 20 youth, other adult allies and local officials. Watsonville United 4 Youth Partners & other community leaders also supported the Adult/Family Dialogues with 19 adults that took place on April 14th. 
Shared Safety is a framework where everyone in the community has a role to play in increasing safety. We acknowledge how important youth’s voices and experiences are and how they could influence positive and equitable outcomes for the entire community. 
For the Youth Shared Safety Community Dialogues, youth answered the following questions: Is there a time you felt safe/unsafe? What do youth need in order to feel safe?  Some of the main themes that were discussed were increasing a better sense of safety when walking and the concern for violence in Watsonville. Through the power of storytelling, youth were able to share their lived experiences and ideas of how to increase a sense of shared safety. Once the data from the dialogues is finalized, we plan to share that with the broader community. 
The information gathered will then be combined with the 8 other circles that COPA supported, then presented to Watsonville’s Ad Hoc Committee on Policing & Social Equity, as well as the Watsonville City Council.
Much gratitude to the United 4 Youth Partners and all the organizers that supported with planning, outreach, co-chairing, storytelling, facilitating, and notetaking; to all the systems leaders that participated & listened deeply; and of course, to all the community members that attended – you are valued, you are courageous, we see you, & your voice & experience was heard. 
The Youth Action Network is looking forward to highlighting more work from our United 4 Youth Partners and collaborating with more partners that provide opportunities for youth to share their stories, experiences, and voices!
Intern Highlights!
April is National Volunteer Month and we wanted to highlight some of the Community Impact Team's amazing interns that are supporting our youth-focused initiatives: Jovenes SANOS, Youth Action Network, and United 4 Youth!

Meet Marisol, Lexy, and Dona and learn about why they wanted to intern at United Way and support youth in Santa Cruz County Community!
Marisol Cisneros-Lopez, CSUMB Student
One of the reasons I chose to intern at United Way of Santa Cruz County is because it’s an agency that seeks answers to help the community as well as to question what is needed and how to implement new projects that benefit the whole community.
Lexy Lix, CSUMB Student
I chose to intern at United Way (UW) because it involved working with youth and supporting them. I want to be a future social worker and learning how to speak and interact with youth is important to me. I have learned how there are youth who want to be more involved with their community and how youth are not disconnected from community needs. As a young adolescent, I used to be afraid to voice out my opinions but UW has done their best to allow youth in their programs to share their ideas. My goal after my internship is to get a job in Social Work so I can gain experience in the system. After, I hope to enter graduate school to get my master's degree in social work.
Dona Sores, CSUMB Student
My internship in United Way’s Community Impact Department has taught me the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships in order to best serve our youth and families in Santa Cruz County. I’ve had the honor of collaborating with inspiring leaders, advocates, and partners in the community, and look forward to pursuing a position within this field after graduation.
Community Events & Opportunities
Grants & Scholarships
Healthline and Prevention Institute Stronger Scholarship Program: will award three $7,000 scholarships to Black, Latinx, and Indigenous students reducing health inequities in their community. The deadline for this scholarship is April 20th, 2020. To learn more and apply: click here

National Liberation Leader Fellowship: a 12-month intensive fellowship aimed at providing youth with the platform and skills to spark transformative conversations with adults from across the nation. To learn more and apply: click here

2021 Young Artist And Authors Showcase (YAAS): For decades, Sister Cities International has leveraged the power that art has to transform societies and transcend cultural boundaries through the Young Artists and Authors Showcase, or YAAS. The Showcase has given youth worldwide the opportunity to express their vision for a more unified, peaceful world through original art and literature. Students must be between 13 and 18 years if age and the deadline is May 1, 2021. To learn more and apply: click here
Youth Leadership and Learning Opportunities
We Belong Project
The We Belong Project is looking for local immigrant families that are interested in sharing their experiences and stories with the UCSC research team lead by Professor Steve Mckay.

Families will spend 30-120 minutes answering questions via Zoom or Phone and receive a $30 Safeway gift card. All answers will be confidential.

Follow this link to sign up or share with someone you know: https://forms.gle/4ZGRqMN75o19URvn8

Questions? email: webelongscc@gmail.com
PVPSA: Empower Youth Watsonville
Empower Youth Watsonville is looking for youth leaders!

This opportunity is open to youth in the Watsonville area from grades 8-12.

You will have the opportunities to earn scholarships, gift cards, community service hours all while learning valuable leadership skills!

Interested in signing up? Follow this link: click here
Summer Opportunities

NESTcorps offers opportunities for youth to learn leadership, project management, logistics, and marketing skills while they work on a project that makes a difference in our local community! This group started to address the needs that arose from COVID-19, but it will continue to tackle the needs in our community even after the pandemic is over. Our three current projects focus on mental health, public health, and poverty within our communities. This Summer members will implement practical solutions to obstacles faced in our community based on the research conducted by members this Spring. This program starts June 16th -August 18th on Wednesdays from 4:00-6:00pm over Zoom. 
E-Unit is a team that designs, plans, and manages events that tie the NEST to the wider community. You will learn how to think critically, solve problems, and see a project through from beginning to end alongside a supportive team! Past events coordinated by this team include holiday parties, game days, fashion shows, and movie screenings. In light of the pandemic, we will get the opportunity to think creatively about how people can connect virtually or at a physical distance. This program starts June 15th- August 17th on Tuesdays from 4-6pm over Zoom.
Launchpad is an opportunity for youth to build skills required to understand our own needs, how to ask for help when we need it, and how to take control of our individual life. They will also acquire the skills needed to understand what is going on in the world and be able to shape our role within our community, family, and ourselves to make a difference. This program starts June 14th - August 16th on Mondays from 4:00- 4:30pm over Zoom.
Youth Events
Santa Cruz County Office of Education: Equity Event: The Power of Community, Relationship, and Student Voice

Join this important dialogue to honor student voices, learn about successes as well as challenges and hear and offer suggestions about what our community can do to support our students of African descent in Santa Cruz County.

When: May 11, 2021 at 6:00pm

To learn more and RSVP: click here
Santa Cruz County Office of Education: Solidarity for Change Virtual Summit

Students from high schools and middle schools across Santa Cruz
County will have the opportunity to join together for this virtual event. Hear an inspiring keynote panel, share ideas and opportunities to take action, raise student voices, and engage in breakout sessions allowing students to interact directly with the community leaders making decisions that impact the environment.

When: April 29,2021 from 4:00-5:30pm

To learn more and RSVP: click here
IG Live Series: Youth Mental Health During Covid-19
For Youth by Youth!

Join the IG Live Series for Youth by Youth! Starting this Thursday, April 29th at 8pm. Join Food What?!, Teen Salud, the Diversity Center, and Community Action Board as they address COVID-19 vaccine myths and experiences, youth mental health, and more.

Follow them on IG to watch live:
Black Health Matters Youth Ambassadors: Youth 2 Youth Event
Join the Youth Ambassadors (YA's) for an afternoon filled with activities, arts and crafts, and fun! Bring your Mini to connect with this incredible group of teen mentors and continue to build the bridge of community for Black and mixed families.

For ages: 5-10 yrs
Outdoors, Masked & Social Distances

RSVP today by emailing:
Reimagining Equity for Foster & Homeless Students!
Registration is now open for our 2021 Central Coast Foster & Homeless Education Summit: Reimagining Equity for Foster & Homeless Students!

It will be held virtually on Thursday, May 13th, from 9-2. This FREE event is brought to you through a tri-county collaboration between Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz County Office of Education.

This event is for: Educators, Foster Youth, Students/Families Experiencing Homelessness, Future Teachers & Social Workers, Higher Education, Child Welfare, Probation, Courts, CASA, Caregivers, Mental Health Agencies, and Community Based Organizations.

Follow this link to register: click here
The Queer Youth Task Force 24th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, May 8 7:00 - 8:30 PM via Live Stream

Please join us in honoring & celebrating Queer Youth Leaders and their Allies! 

Interested in attending? Purchase your tickets by following this link: click here
May 2021 Bike Month! Just Keep Riding
Amazing Events, rad prizes, online tools and doses of encouragement to keep you riding all month long!

Follow this link to check out all the Bike Month Events throughout Santa Cruz County! Click here

Youth Action Network Coordinators

Amanda Gamban

Gabriela Sanchez Ramirez

4450 Capitola Rd, Ste 106
Capitola, CA 95010

PHONE | [831.479.5466]
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