YOUTH IS OUR FUTURE. The goal of the Young American Policy Advocates (YAPA) program is to help youth become engaged citizens by understanding social issues affecting their lives and their role and responsibility in solving them, as well as providing the tools and platform to study and improve local policies.
This program, started in July 2019, consists of four components: (1) 2-day summer camp, (2) 10-week study groups on five different topics, (3) cohort meetings every three weeks for team and skill-building, and (4) Youth In Action (YIA) conference to showcase students’s accomplishments. Here is what our students say about YAPA.
The Youth In Action (YIA) Conference is the first of its kind. The YIA conference has three primary objectives: First, to celebrate the accomplishments of students and mentors, Second, to promote youth civic engagement, and Third, to serve as an information exchange between selected, relevant non-profit organizations and students.
12:30-1:00 PM Check-in & Light Lunch
1:00-2:30 PM YAPA Study Group Presentation and Ceremony
2:30-3:00 PM Youth Speakup: Conversation with Congressman Ro Khanna
3:00-3:15 PM Break
3:15-3:35 PM “Why a new party? Party Politics and Campaign Finance” by John Pimentel”
3:35-4:15 PM Youth Civic Service Opportunities Panel Discussion
4:15-5:15 PM Universal Basic Income Debate — Dream or Nightmare?
5:15-5:45 PM Closing & Refreshment
Students in each study group will share what they learned and did during the program in their presentations. Those five topics of interest for this session of the YAPA program are Pollution, House, Performing Art in Silicon Valley, Teen’s Mental Health and E-Cigarette Usage. Visit Website for more details about each topic and the mentors.
There will be a panel consisting of youth leaders from local community/activist groups. This is to highlight different opportunities for civic engagement and to enable information exchanges between relevant youth organizations and students.
Last, but not least, the YIA Conference provides a platform for youth to interact and learn from legislators and civic leaders on current issues and policies of interests. In this conference, Congressman Ro Khanna will hold a town-hall-style meeting with students. John Pimentel, a seasoned investor in renewable natural resources and a co-founder of the newly established Common Sense Party, will present “Party Politics and Campaign Finance”. The program ends with a policy debate on one popular and controversial topic: Universal Basic Income.
“I learned about government and politics from various mentors and government officials. I developed new skills for public speaking and got more involved in my community while advocating for change. I also met many new people who were fun to work with as we learned about issues affecting our community.” — Tiana Zhou, Mission San Jose High, Sophomore
- Young American Policy Advocates (YAPA) is a non-partisan youth civic organization. We wish to educate young Americans to embrace diverse cultures and diverse points of view. This program, started in July 2019, consists of four components: (1) 2-day summer camp, (2) 10-week study groups on five different topics, (3) cohort meetings every three weeks for team and skill-building, and (4) Youth In Action (YIA) conference to showcase students’ accomplishments.
- The core of the YAPA program is the study groups, where passionate subject experts on local issues mentor high school students to study specific, relevant issues. In addition, throughout the four components of the YAPA program, elected officials and community advocates are invited to speak and share their perspectives on certain issues, their careers, or current affairs.
- Currently, the YAPA program attracts students from all over the Bay Area: Saratoga, Cupertino, San Jose, Fremont, Los Altos, Sunnyvale, San Mateo, and Palo Alto.