2021 January WMNL: Youth Leaders Rising
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DHF Youth have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. In addition to navigating the challenges of remote learning, many are missing their friends and lamenting the inability to celebrate milestones. They bravely faced these challenges giving of their own personal time to strengthen their commitment to serve and assist their families and communities through this crisis. Over 36 DHF Youth participated in 100 phone and text banking shifts for the campaign in support of Prop 15. Twenty-two youth and 5 parents participated in GOTV Human Billboarding rallies in Kern, Tulare and Fresno counties. The youth group participated in DHF hosted candidate forums and pressed candidates to address the issues most critical to young people. DHF Youth submitted public comments and spoke to Bakersfield City School District (BCSD) and Fresno Unified School District to urge the adoption of resolutions in support of Prop 15, which would’ve brought in millions of dollars to local schools. In a victory the resolution was adopted by BCSD. Eleven youth became Super Volunteer Leaders for completing 3 or more GOTV phone and/or text banking volunteer shifts and received certificates of recognition.
The Youth planned and led their very first webinar “Reimagining School Safety” with over 42 youth and parent participants. Youth leaders shared their visions for equitable school funding, more support for distance learning, and additional socio-emotional support for students and families. They continued to call for public action on Prop 15.
DHF Youth participated in a five-week, virtual 2020 Youth Leadership Summer Program which they planned and hosted for their peers. They hosted 15 virtual trainings focused on community organizing, education equity, civic engagement, environmental and labor rights and healing justice. It included panels with the presidents of Fresno and Bakersfield State Universities, Kern High School District and Fresno Unified school board members, Congressman TJ Cox and other elected representatives and community leaders. Fifty two youth completed and received a Dolores Huerta Foundation 2020 Online Summer Youth Leadership Program Certificate.