From fun outings to Belmont Park, the beach, and a Padres game, to exciting leadership camps and a Youth Power Summit in our state capitol, Mid-City CAN's Youth Council had a busy summer. Now that school's back in session, we are looking for more youth to join the team working on some amazing projects, including a Schools Not Prisons mural in City Heights.
Hear from two youth currently in Youth Council who participated in the team's activities this summer and look forward to upcoming projects.
Omar Federico and Natalie Martinez joined Youth Council this year and attended the Sons & Brothers Camp and the Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat.
Omar shared that one of his favorite things about the youth leadership camp was meeting "people from different communities and different backgrounds; there were people from the LGBTQ community and the trans community, poor, rich, middle class and a lot of people from different parts of California." For Natalie, the experience building trust with other young women of color and challenging her fear of heights in the high ropes courses were empowering moments in the Sisterhood Rising Leadership Retreat.
Natalie was part of the group of youth from City Heights who attended the Youth Power Summit, a three day summit in Sacramento where young people participated in training, workshops, and the opportunity to connect with the staff of state elected officials.
"My favorite part about the summit was going to the capitol and talking to staff of our elected officials, it made me feel very accomplished and like I could do more and bring back to my own community," said Natalie.
Now that the summer curriculum for Youth Council has wrapped up, we are looking forward to our upcoming project to paint a Schools Not Prisons mural. Through this project, Youth Council members are partnering with a local artist, Channin Fulton, to design a mural that creates raises awareness of and challenges the school to prison pipeline.
"I think this project is different because we're not just painting for the community to look more beautiful, colorful, and bright. This also represents something that's very important because inner-city kids are targeted by high incarceration and deal with more criminalization," said Omar.
Omar recommends other young people from City Heights "check out Youth Council because it's something they can add to a college application, they can put in community service hours, and can engage in community involvement that builds teamwork, leadership, and communication skills."