For the third consecutive year, The Queer Youth Task Force worked with students from twelve Gay-Straight Alliance student clubs and their advisers, administrators from Santa Cruz City Schools (Eileen Brown) and Pajaro Valley Unified School District (Murry Schekman) and community member Mike Dively to send 66 students from Santa Cruz County to the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) in San Francisco on December 15th via two chartered buses.
A wide range of leadership, health and safe school workshops were provided to the youth so that they could bring back valuable ideas, resources and projects to implement in their schools.
One of the highlights of sending youth to YES this year was an article written by a student who attended YES and published it locally in the Santa Cruz Patch. As Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of the GSA Network, said in an email to both of us about the article “This is such a great article that really captures the experience of YES from a student perspective.” This was important because it informed the larger community about the positive experience of youth attending regional conferences. The article, written by Ty Love, can be seen at:http://santacruz.patch.com/
The overall breakdown of the attendees included students and their chaperons from five school districts:
- Aptos High School
- New School Community Day High School
- Watsonville High School
- Pajaro Valley High School
- North Monterey County High School
- Harbor High School
- San Lorenzo Valley High School
- Scotts Valley High School
- Santa Cruz High School
- AFE School
- Pacific Collegiate School
- Soquel High School
Another one of the successes is that youth had a chance to see other youth from their community doing similar work all around Santa Cruz County.
Additionally, another success of YES 2012 is that our Adult Ally Project Coordinator, Chris Martorona, provided a shuttle to make it easier on the chaperons to have split-shifts during the day.