youth-in-action.

President’s Youth Council

Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO of The California Endowment formed the President’s Youth Council as a genuine effort to integrate youth input and decision making into The Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities campaign. The President’s Youth Council is a statewide, intergenerational body of youth and seasoned youth workers that provide thought leadership, youth perspective and candid feedback on The California Endowment’s campaign and strategies in the pursuit of Health and Justice across California.

The California Endowment values the energy, agility, and fearlessness of youth leadership and youth organizing in its many forms including local, statewide and online community building, and lifting the voices of those traditionally excluded from public conversations to create opportunities for their stories to be told and heard. Building Healthy Communities is driven by a vision of what constitutes a healthy community: one in which youth and adults thrive and all community members have the opportunities, supports and resources to develop their full potential, thus achieving greater health equity for marginalized Californians, especially those who have experienced disadvantage or historical injustice.

Through Building Healthy Communities, young people have stepped up to lead the fight for healthier schools, neighborhoods, and smarter health systems. PYC Ambassadors for Youth are lead thought partners in redefining wellness for California’s youth and providing youth perspective on expanding leadership roles for youth in advancing health equity and health justice campaigns to strengthen youth voice and leadership across communities, at a statewide level and nationally. We invite PYC Members, as Ambassadors for Youth, to help us realize an inclusive California with Health Equity and Health Justice for All.


PRESIDENT’S YOUTH COUNCIL

EFRAIN BOTELLO

Efrain Botello is a youth leader that was born and raised in Fresno, CA. He is now working as an Outreach Worker at Fresno Barrios Unidos, a community benefits organization that empowers youth and families through education, wellness, and advocacy. Some of his responsibilities at Fresno Barrios Unidos have included conducting outreach to many community members throughout Fresno and helping support the El Joven Noble rites of passage program. Through working with Fresno Barrios Unidos, Efrain has also been heavily involved with the Fresno Boys and Men of Color initiative where he has advocated for the improvement of his beloved communities health. Some of the many issues Efrain has advocated for have included bringing safe parks to his community, creating healthy relationships between the Fresno Police Department and youth across Fresno, and making sure everyone feels safe in schools by making Fresno Unified School District a sanctuary for all. Efrain is now studying Sociology at Fresno City College and will soon transfer to CSU Fresno to finish his education. After graduating, Efrain dreams of serving as a mentor and counselor for youth in his community. He wants to leave a positive impact on young people’s lives so they can be able to reach their full potential. On his free time, Efrain loves anything that will keep him active. Some of his favorite hobbies include playing soccer, weightlifting, listening to music, and hanging out with his loved ones.

 

CHRISTOPHER COVINGTON

A proud product of Long Beach, California, Christopher Covington has dedicated his life to a future where all who have historically been marginalized, made invisible, and unheard are uplifted and empowered to challenge and deconstruct the systems of oppression. He is a multiracial, queer person of color with many identities and lived experiences that deeply connects him to intersectional movements and spaces. Growing up working class he was determined that he would not be boxed in by the limitations others placed on him. His dedication and determination to advancing issues led him to organize with his community in the fight for social justice. Their work produced major local and national policy, systems and cultures shifts in the fields of labor, education, LGBTQ+ and health. He is the Southern California Local Community Organizer for the Genders and Sexualities Alliance Network empowering trans and queer youth to unite for racial and gender justice. In his free time, he enjoys caring for his dog Leo and houseplants, engaging in wellness practices and making memories with friends and loved ones.

 

ALICIA DE LEON MENDOZA

Hello! I am Alicia De Leon Mendoza, a full-time student at Oregon State University and an ambassador for youth through the President’s Youth Council. God willing I plan to graduate with two degrees at the end of 2017, a B.S. in Finance and a B.S. in Marketing.

Before the PYC I was heavily involved with student and community groups in my hometown of Crescent City, CA located on the coast just south of the Oregon border. Growing up I mostly kept to myself but that changed during my sophomore year of high school. At this time I joined the DNHS Drill Team, C.H.A.N.G.E. Club, Interact Club and many other extracurriculars. This was also the year that my involvement with The California Endowment would commence. I can proudly say I was on my local stakeholder committee for the Building Healthy Communities Initiative in during its beginnings.

I remained involved when I moved to Corvallis to further pursue my education. At Oregon State I became the only female on the Oregon State’s Investment Group for a year and was also initiated as a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity of which I later became my chapters president. My plan for after graduation is still in the works. Currently I am trying to find the career that perfectly aligns with my passions for music and helping others with my finance and marketing expertise. I would like to achieve CFA certification and make my mark in the finance and underrepresented communities.

Though leisure time is often hard to find, one’s wellness is crucial to excelling in every other aspect of life. I enjoy time spent with loved ones, cooking, singing, dancing and simply exploring what this world has to offer through hiking, eating and travelling. Before deciding to obtain my degrees in Finance and Marketing from Oregon state, I was seriously considering culinary school instead. Good food and good music with the people I love is my equation for happiness. I also very much love pandas, so it’s safe one of my dream jobs would be to become a panda nanny.

 

NILE HAYNES-IRBY

Nile Haynes-Irby is a full time student at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.  He studies Engineering with a focus on the Mechanical side. He enjoys building objects that affect the human emotion. Before PYC, Nile served on a South Los Angeles Youth Council. The council helped Nile build leadership and awareness of issues in the community. Peace Over Violence was another organization he participated in that helped prevent domestic violence through Art. Nile also has worked with Brotherhood Crusade in building young men to strive for success. Other work include designing a youth survey across California to gather ideas of what youth think of their community. Recently, he has been a Grant Advisor for The Pollination Project helping fund youth grants. Nile graduated from View Park High School. He is pursuing to get his degree from George Fox University. He has two years left to complete his Major. After receiving his degree he plans on building his own engineering company. Nile loves to go swimming and play video games. Fun Fact about Nile is he drank a FIJI water bottle in FIJI. He continues to support his family and community.         

 

BINTI MUSA

My name is Binti Musa, I am a student at Grossmont College hoping to transfer to University of Las Vegas Nevada majoring in Sociology. I was born in Somali came untied states on march 12 2004 at the age of nine. I have been living in San Diego ever since. Before PYC I was a full time student and working. I am also been involved with many community groups: City Heights Youth For change, Parent student resident organization, food justice momentum team, Somali Bantu association, say San Diego, and and sisterhood circle.  

I am interested in doing community organizing with my degree. I love giving back to my community and working with my community.

Whenever I am out I am also at a community meeting and listen for my community needs and how I can better assist them.

I love being out doors and trying something different I personally love hiking.

 This year I will be able to finish my last year at grossmont college with two associates degrees one in Sociology and one in Social work.

I am really looking forward to see changes in my community. With the opportunity with the PYC I will be able to share my work and even learn different ways to get even more things done for my community.

DEAN WILLIVER

Dean Welliver is an LGBTQ Equality Organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation. As an Equality Organizer he mobilizes LGBTQ youth and adults to advocate for policies and services to address health inequities and school climate affecting the LGBTQ community in Kern County. As a facilitator of the Teens 4 Equality program, he focuses on building the leadership of other youth leaders, providing recreational opportunities, and advocating together for more inclusive school climates, family acceptance, and spreading awareness in our community about LGBTQ identities and people. Additionally, Dean is a youth journalist for South Kern Sol and has been writing articles relating to community health, with a focus on education and LGBTQ communities, since early 2014.

Dean has been involved in LGBT advocacy and organizing since he was sixteen. In high school he was a Youth Trainer with GSA Network of Southern California, training groups of LGBTQ and allied youth about LGBTQ topics and rights in schools all over Southern California. At home in Bakersfield, Dean was a regular volunteer for the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield and worked as a canvasser and phone banker for the Dolores Huerta Foundation before being hired on as an Organizer.

Dean is currently a student at Bakersfield Community College and is studying sociology. After he finishes at Bakersfield College he hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley or UCLA to finish his degree. In the future, Dean hopes to continue doing community organizing and use his degree to conduct research studies aimed at assessing the needs of marginalized communities.

In his free Dean enjoys spending time with his dogs, hanging out with friends and family, and reading. 

 

AJ LAWSON

Dean Welliver is an LGBTQ Equality Organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation. As an Equality Organizer he mobilizes LGBTQ youth and adults to advocate for policies and services to address health inequities and school climate affecting the LGBTQ community in Kern County. As a facilitator of the Teens 4 Equality program, he focuses on building the leadership of other youth leaders, providing recreational opportunities, and advocating together for more inclusive school climates, family acceptance, and spreading awareness in our community about LGBTQ identities and people. Additionally, Dean is a youth journalist for South Kern Sol and has been writing articles relating to community health, with a focus on education and LGBTQ communities, since early 2014.

Dean has been involved in LGBT advocacy and organizing since he was sixteen. In high school he was a Youth Trainer with GSA Network of Southern California, training groups of LGBTQ and allied youth about LGBTQ topics and rights in schools all over Southern California. At home in Bakersfield, Dean was a regular volunteer for the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield and worked as a canvasser and phone banker for the Dolores Huerta Foundation before being hired on as an Organizer.

Dean is currently a student at Bakersfield Community College and is studying sociology. After he finishes at Bakersfield College he hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley or UCLA to finish his degree. In the future, Dean hopes to continue doing community organizing and use his degree to conduct research studies aimed at assessing the needs of marginalized communities.

In his free Dean enjoys spending time with his dogs, hanging out with friends and family, and reading. 

OLONDIS WALKER

Olondis Walker was born in Oakland, CA, Olonds been Involved in Community Work Since 2006, after being in the crossfire near his home and was shot 4 times. Upon recovery, O decided that he would make music that would move his peers in a positive direction. With extreme passion he created songs with compelling stories and messages about street survival, positive choices. He also began to share more than make music with others, he shared time, experience and studio savvy when he joined the Turf Unity Music Project to educate youth in the neighborhoods. he help started A Black Mens Group Called Determination with United Roots .He has toured throughout Bay Area and has graced many a stage with artists like Kurtis Blow,Pep Love of Hieroglyphics,San Quinn, MistahFAB, Goapele,The Jacka and Too Short. His contributions to the The Turf Unity compilation led it to sell over 6,000 units independently,And Also received a Best of The Bay award from East Bay Express.

MARIA AMBRIZ-MARTINEZ

Maria Ambriz is a Health Equity Organizer with the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council. At MBCLC Maria co-facilitates the Health For All Committee, which was instrumental in organizing the expansion of Esperanza Care. Esperanza Care allows undocumented Californians in Monterey County to receive certain medical services.

Prior to working at MBCLC, Maria was a full time student of Politics at UC Santa Cruz. While at UCSC Maria participated in UCLA Labor Center Dream Summer Fellowship. In 2012, Maria was also a Health Career Connections intern with the east Salinas Building Healthy Communities.

In the future, Maria plans to earn a Master’s degree in Public Policy and continue organizing in Monterey County and in La Estancia, Michoacan, Mexico where is native to.

In her free time, Maria enjoys playing tennis, going to concerts and cooking for her family.

SOMPONG VIENGVILAI

Sompong Viengvilai was born and raised in Richmond CA. Being involved with different non-profit organizations gave him the opportunity to pursue in film production. Ever since then Sompong received a B.A in Cinematic Art from San Francisco State University. His areas in emphasis within cinema are postproduction work such as editing, minor work in animation.

Like any other youth growing up in a low income neighborhood he’s been through rough times, and his community was there to help support him and his family. Therefore Sompong is passionate about giving back to his community, and others like it.

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LESLIE RENTERIA-SALOME

Dean Welliver is an LGBTQ Equality Organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation. As an Equality Organizer he mobilizes LGBTQ youth and adults to advocate for policies and services to address health inequities and school climate affecting the LGBTQ community in Kern County. As a facilitator of the Teens 4 Equality program, he focuses on building the leadership of other youth leaders, providing recreational opportunities, and advocating together for more inclusive school climates, family acceptance, and spreading awareness in our community about LGBTQ identities and people. Additionally, Dean is a youth journalist for South Kern Sol and has been writing articles relating to community health, with a focus on education and LGBTQ communities, since early 2014.

Dean has been involved in LGBT advocacy and organizing since he was sixteen. In high school he was a Youth Trainer with GSA Network of Southern California, training groups of LGBTQ and allied youth about LGBTQ topics and rights in schools all over Southern California. At home in Bakersfield, Dean was a regular volunteer for the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield and worked as a canvasser and phone banker for the Dolores Huerta Foundation before being hired on as an Organizer.

Dean is currently a student at Bakersfield Community College and is studying sociology. After he finishes at Bakersfield College he hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley or UCLA to finish his degree. In the future, Dean hopes to continue doing community organizing and use his degree to conduct research studies aimed at assessing the needs of marginalized communities.

In his free Dean enjoys spending time with his dogs, hanging out with friends and family, and reading. 

TONY AGUILAR

Dean Welliver is an LGBTQ Equality Organizer for the Dolores Huerta Foundation. As an Equality Organizer he mobilizes LGBTQ youth and adults to advocate for policies and services to address health inequities and school climate affecting the LGBTQ community in Kern County. As a facilitator of the Teens 4 Equality program, he focuses on building the leadership of other youth leaders, providing recreational opportunities, and advocating together for more inclusive school climates, family acceptance, and spreading awareness in our community about LGBTQ identities and people. Additionally, Dean is a youth journalist for South Kern Sol and has been writing articles relating to community health, with a focus on education and LGBTQ communities, since early 2014.

Dean has been involved in LGBT advocacy and organizing since he was sixteen. In high school he was a Youth Trainer with GSA Network of Southern California, training groups of LGBTQ and allied youth about LGBTQ topics and rights in schools all over Southern California. At home in Bakersfield, Dean was a regular volunteer for the Gay and Lesbian Center of Bakersfield and worked as a canvasser and phone banker for the Dolores Huerta Foundation before being hired on as an Organizer.

Dean is currently a student at Bakersfield Community College and is studying sociology. After he finishes at Bakersfield College he hopes to transfer to UC Berkeley or UCLA to finish his degree. In the future, Dean hopes to continue doing community organizing and use his degree to conduct research studies aimed at assessing the needs of marginalized communities.

In his free Dean enjoys spending time with his dogs, hanging out with friends and family, and reading. 

 

JEANNETTE REYNAGA

Jeannette Reynaga is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and a first generation MPH graduate of the Health Policy and Management (HPM) program at UCLA. Her drive to push for health and social justice is extremely personal to her as she was raised in Lynwood, CA, a community with deeply rooted socioeconomic challenges. After studying Ethnic Studies at UC Berkeley, she spent over four years at InnerCity Struggle in East Los Angeles, organizing alongside youth for educational justice policies focused on restorative, food, and health justice. She joined The California Endowment’s President’s Youth Council in 2011 and since then has contributed to developing statewide youth campaigns to promote wellness and health justice across the state. She is especially passionate about young people’s mental health, food equity and justice, and creating neighborhood environments that make physical activity more accessible for communities of color.

 


PYC ALUMNI

BRANDON HARRISON