Youth Together (YT) is a type of organization that values the growth and development of youth as leaders. I have not found another organization that is so dedicated to the youth it serves. The youth that participate with YT are well rounded on the values of social justice.
I have 10 years of working with youth and policy changes. This organization was a foundation in my learning on ethics and responsibility in working with youth populations. I am eternally grateful for the leadership and support of this organization.
Review from Guidestar
My name is Teresa Avila I was a freshman at Skyline High School when I first found out about Youth Together. Since becoming apart of Youth Together I have grown in different areas of my life. I am now not only able to see the different issues that are affecting my community,but I have also learned that there are several things that I can do to change it. I have seen that young people see more than adults give them credit for, and with the right push,and a place to develop them they can achieve so much. And thats exactly what I see Youth Together is doing. YT gave me the tools needed to take leadership within my life and in my community, I have learned that if I see something wrong around me I have the tools to change it. and YT has done several things to change things. From helping get free AC Transit buss passes to getting healthier lunches in schools,to recently going to Sacramento to protest the budget cuts to education. These are the things that young people need they need a place where they can feel empowered about themselves,feel that they have power to make change,and feel the connections that they have to other students weather you come from different ethnic,economical,or sexual backgrounds we are still connected and we go through the same problems. Youth Together is exactly what we all need and I am grateful that I was able to be a part of such a grate group!
In my experience as a board member for Youth Together, I have seen the organization execute on long-term strategic initiatives related to creating peace, empowering students, and fostering leadership within East Bay schools, while also successfully joining immediate calls to action to reshape our educational system in CA. An example of this short-term collaboration is shown by YT's participation (along with many other education and communtiy groups) in recently organizing marches on the State Capital related to the cutting of education budgets. Given the wide scope of problems in CA schools and the challenges facing East Bay schools especially (some of the most marginalized students in CA) YT has a clear understanding that it is important to focus on long-term stratgeic goals, while also addressing immediate issues through collaboration with other community groups...showing students the power of solidarity across lines of race, religion, or social class. As an organization, YT does not miss the Trees for the Forest. It is highly effective in working across groups to create positive change in CA schools, focusing on both short and long-term changes.
The most frequent comment I hear from staff and youth about Youth Together (YT) is that this organization walks its talk. When YT says it fosters peace, unity, and justice, it does this through excellent political education and services to schools as well as how it operates as an organization. YT, from its organizational leadership to its youth leadership, is committed to doing the right thing whether we are talking about everyday actions or big scale educational equity campaigns.
YT is one of the most comprehensive organizations I've had the privilege of working with. Based on a Theory of Action that links grassroots organizing to policy change while directly serving the needs of young people on a daily basis, YT has tremendous impact up and down the East Bay. As a teacher organizer working with students at our school site and as a Board Member, I'm able to experience different levels of this impact and see how youth are empowered through multiracial organizing. I am amazed at the scope and quality of the work that YT is able to pull off. As for a critique, how can YT do more of what YT does?
Youth Together has made an extremely positive impact in my life. Growing up in East Oakland was not the most safe and empowering experience, but with Youth Together I had the privilege of being part of making positive changes and empowering my community. I also have had the opportunity to succeed in college with the support of Youth Together. I have committed my life to social justice organizing and empowering youth because of Youth Together.