Young Social Activists Club
Youth who advocate make our world a better place
Website or social media url(s) (optional):
Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.
Established (successfully passed early phases, have a plan for the future)
1. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project? NOTE: All applications must include a 1 minute video that answers: “I am stepping up to make change because..."
YSAC is founded upon the idea that youth are fully capable of implementing a variety and multitude of positive changes in the community and the world. Our primary objective is to encourage and facilitate active discussion among students regarding different social issues affecting numerous areas in the world, and think of creative, helpful problem-solving strategies. By utilizing the power of social media and the fresh, brilliant minds of students, we hope to inspire others to speak up and take charge as activists!
2. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?
We are hoping to empower young people to take charge of issues in their community. All too often, young people feel powerless and this is an issue we must fix. The biggest movements in this country have all happened when young people used their voices and acted on issues that matter to them.
3. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.
Every semester, we pick 1-2 causes that we shall focus on for that semester. The members vote and this insures that the cause is one most are passionate about. Then, we plan events surrounding the social issue, hoping to address or alleviate problems in our community through team effort and collaboration with other nonprofits, local government, other students, etc. We advocate through art, social media, community events, fundraisers, contacting our representatives, etc.
4. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.
After volunteering at the OPCC shelter, I knew I wanted us to change the dialogue we as a community have towards homeless people. They are either perceived as irritants outside a supermarket or an excuse for people to soothe their conscience. We decided to invite the head of volunteer operations, Ruby, to come and speak at our school town hall.
Today, the event was coming to fruition. Ruby was providing us excellent information. To my dismay, I mostly saw blank faces, staring at screens. The bell rang to signal that the meeting was over, and everyone shuffled out of there; the weekend was upon them. I could tell that for most people, Ruby's presentation had minimal impact. Instead of feeling depressed, I felt resilient. The first step, I know, is awareness, and the second step is encouraging advocacy. Some people signed up to volunteer and came to our next meeting, signaling hope!
5. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?
Our overall approach differs because we focus on 1-2 themes per semester, totaling from 2-4 different social causes a year. This way, people have a chance to focus on multiple causes they are passionate about and also introduce people who may not consider themselves activists before to test out what they are passionate about. We manage to take an in depth focus on the issues but also survey a wide variety of problems.
6. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?
Throughout the years, we have engaged and helped our community in a number of ways. Some of our most notable accomplishments include advocating for Prop HHH for homelessness in LA in partnership with the OPCC homeless shelter, helping to organize a school walkout to honor Parkland victims, hosting numerous town halls on gun control, homelessness, veteran's issues, etc., raising over $350 for Feeding America, and raising funds for Doctors without Borders, Red Cross, etc.
7. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?
The main goals are to spread our work and new chapters of the organization to different communities in and outside of California. We also would like to partner with organizations like the Women's March, Brady Group, etc.
8. Future Support: What are the resources needed to make your vision a reality?
In order to make our vision of expansion a reality, I think we will need help spreading the word to other schools, talking with the right officials to make partnerships, and a more professional website. We could only afford a Weebly but we would hope to use funds to redesign it and attract more people.
9. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?
Donations less than $100
10. Ripple Effect: Please share some ideas of how you could partner with other changemakers or involve other young people as leaders in making a difference.
Although we have already engaged young people as leaders in many ways (ie: on our executive board, partnering with other young groups on campus and in the community, etc.), I would love to expand to include other young leaders at other high schools, on college campuses, and from other Changemaker organizations around the world like The Sunshine Hope foundation.
How did you hear about this challenge?