Dear Friends of Youth Alliance,
One of the many reasons to be thankful this year is our community’s continued commitment to stand together in the face of such national, state, and local challenges. The strength, determination, and generosity we’ve seen from this multi-generational movement has demanded more of our humanity and of our community, and for this, I am grateful.
As we dream of a better future for our children, I continue to be inspired and motivated by our young activists and courageous leaders who, as our elders wisely told us, continue this work not out of hate for the other, but out of love for our community. Youth Alliance has moved quickly to respond in the midst of this crisis. Our exceptionally resilient and creative team has worked tirelessly to innovate how we provide support to the thousands of children and families we serve.
YA gratefully received immediate relief to keep our work going and provide direct aid to the many families and youth affected by the pandemic. Despite the challenges, the YA team worked with partners to conduct and help lead Census outreach efforts to local Hard to Reach populations, conduct voter registration and education, and convened and supported critical workgroups to address critical issues of inequity such as access to bilingual information, education support, broadband and technology access, and housing.
As the founder and CEO of Youth Alliance for the last 25 years, I can honestly say that this year has been like no other we have ever weathered. And yet, because of our strong partnerships, responsive foundations, and our incredibly hardworking staff, interns, and young people, YA is moving forward with as much grit, passion, and determination to organize the voices of those who have been most impacted, to support youth and community healing and well-being, and to push for transformation that is grounded in equity, justice, and dignity.
We thank you for being with us throughout the years and we ask you to stand with us again this year in whatever way you can. YA is leading and co-convening exciting, transformative work in education and juvenile justice systems that will uproot how youth of color and youth in need have often been harmed by criminalization, and instead, work with community to reimagine and build a compassionate support system for young people with mentorship, guidance, and healing. An exciting goal in 2021 will be realized when we are able to open our Restorative Justice Youth Center in January in Hollister and expand our site in Gilroy. This can become a reality with your support.
YA will also continue to prioritize direct aid to families in need. With this commitment at the forefront of YA’s efforts, we have proudly given out over $60,000 in direct assistance to families and youth. YA’s Solidarity Fund is a means for you to give knowing that it will directly help a family or teen in need of help to eat, pay bills, buy home essentials, provide educational resources, and know that their community cares about them.
It is with humility and deep resolve that I ask you to believe in Youth Alliance’s vision to continue to invest in youth and their leadership. We will continue to be there for one another and we thank you for your generous support and investment to make sure each youth in need of support will never be turned away.
With love and respect,