Meet the Leaders of the Future: Free Our Dreams Youth Organizing Summit 2017


I’m Halima Ali. I was born in the refugee camp in Kenya because my family was running away from the war in Somalia. I came to the USA in 2004. I’m involved with this community because we need to make our voice heard and change a lot within this community. I am a member of City Heights Youth for Change, right now we are focused on the Building Better San Diego. We are trying to get more affordable housing for people that are low income. I am also a co-chair of the Food Justice Momentum Team with Mid-City CAN.





My name is Jazmine, I am 17 year's old, I attend Diego Hills Charter School & what I would like to see in my community change is the lack of resources to let young teens know there are options for a healthier life, to graduate school with tutors & teachers helping you every step of the way, and having sport team fundraisers so youth could have active lifestyles & stay out of trouble or most importantly do what there passionate about. Most low income families can't afford it, so I'd like more adults, teachers, police officers, and other youth to reach out to youth in our community to let them know we care and we're here to make a better future for every single one of them and build trust in the community.


My name is Daniela Barron, I am 22 years old and have been part of the Mid-City CAN Youth Council for almost 7 years. I believe that homelessness is an issue that has to be worked on in San Diego. The money that is set in the budget to help with this issue should be well spent in programs to actually help the homeless with their health needs, getting jobs, or even returning to school.





Priscilla Perez is a 15 year old junior and second generation resident of City Heights. She is involved in her community as an active volunteer at Mid-City Community Clinic and in the children's ministry at her local church. As someone who has observed and experienced challenges accessing health care, including traveling to Mexico to receive specialized care, Priscilla is passionate about improving disparities in health access that exist in low-income communities.




My name is Marissa, I am a junior and attend Helix Charter High School. I am involved in Speech and Debate, tennis, and I love to volunteer at community events. I am passionate about helping my community and solving social issues. In my spare time I enjoy reading and discussing politics. A social issue that I feel is plaguing my neighborhood is children lacking the positive role models in their life. With the usage of media being very influential in children's lives and the media usually portraying a negative role model. Either they receive that from the media or they learn it at home. With children absorbing information and mimicking behavior that they learn, this is a very powerful tool, that needs to be utilized. This influence needs to be approached and targeted more in my community. I feel it is very important for young children to have a role model in their life as well as being involved in school, especially at a young age. I would love to solve how we can incorporate more positive leaders in children's lives through public education.


My name is DeVonte White and I am a student at Hoover High School. In social Justice my main issues are how disconnected our community is and the unspoken youth. I believe if the community came together, the ones that take care of the youth as well as the youth would be more comfortable. When entering a new place many of my peers are scared that the new place will not be "safe" or willing to accept them. Youth are gaining a voice through groups that are forming (Example: Peace Council), but when it comes to any decision that would affect them, where are they to be found? We are able to put our input on other subjects, except for a decision that they deem for adults only. Even if it affects the youth.


Nichole Castillo is a 19 year old female currently attending City College. She is passionate in her QTPOC work in helping organize creative safe spaces for QTPOC folks, especially during these times of anti black, brown, and LGBTness,Nichole Castillo is a 19 year old female currently attending City College. She is passionate in her QTPOC work in helping organize creative safe spaces for QTPOC folks, especially during these times of anti black, brown, and LGBTness.




 Rile Grant has long been involved in social justice work, focused on educational issues, beginning by lobbying for virtual education in Sacramento and recently attending the Women's March in D.C. as a youth with opinions and a voice. When not speaking up for youth opportunities or volunteering in his community, Rile enjoys eating homemade deep dish pizza with his family.


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