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Change Makers Event, 2017

Change Makers Gala 2017 – SAVE THE DATE!

Change Makers Event, 2017

September 16, 2017 – SAVE THE DATE!

Our marquee fundraising event will be held at the Gilroy Gardens Pavilion, 3050 Hecker Pass Hwy, Gilroy, CA 95020. View Venue Map

Reception & Mariachi begin at 5:30pm, and the event goes until 10:00pm.

Sponsorships and tickets available! Contact Eduardo at eddy@youthall.org.

To purchase tickets, click HERE or the link below:


This year’s event is not to be missed and will include live entertainment, dinner and dancing. A celebration of Change Makers (like yourself), and a special recognition of a nominated community member for their outstanding and exemplary work. Through our donors, sponsors, and volunteers, the Youth Alliance helps effect change and create a more aspiring and engaging community for our youth; as well as raises critical funds to sustain our outreach and highly needed support services in Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Benito County.

Special Thanks to our 2017 Change Makers Sponsors

LEAD Sponsors

Gilroy Gardens



GROW Sponsors


ENGAGE Sponsors

Sponsorship levels are offered at the tiers below and will provide expanding levels of recognition, logo opportunities, and program recognition.

LEAD $4,000

• Prominent Sponsor Recognition at Event and Name and Logo Placement throughout Reception
• Recognition on all Marketing Collateral, Press Releases, and Social Media
• Extensive publicity via traditional and social media platforms before and after event
• Reserved Table for 10 Guests
• Recognition on YA Website
• Acknowledgement on Change Makers’ Event Signage
• Table Recognition
• Event Program Recognition
• Sponsor mention by Emcee

CONNECT $2,000

• Reserved Table for 10 Guests
• Recognition on YA Website
• Acknowledgement on Change Makers’ Event Signage
• Table Recognition
• Event Program Recognition
• Sponsor mention by Emcee

GROW $1,000

• Acknowledgement on Change Makers’ Signage
• Table Recognition
• Event Program Recognition
• Sponsor mention by Emcee
• 6 Event Tickets


• Event Program Recognition
• Sponsor mention by Emcee
• 2 Event Tickets

Interested in being a sponsor? Contact Eddy Navarro at eddy@youthall.org or give us a call at 831.636.2853.


Please help Youth Alliance keep programs available for children and teens in Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Benito County!

Every day is a good day to give to YA! Please see below for donation opportunities.

Only $10 makes a difference!

You can make a difference! San Benito GIVES online fundraiser is now through May 16, 2017

While this fundraising’s limited-time incentives have ended, we still invite you to support our organization with a charitable donation.

Every day is a good day to give to YA! Please see below for donation opportunities.

Just $10 can make a difference for the youth in San Benito!

Better Lives Through Giving Join us for a 24-hr online fundraiser starting now through May 16th

Please help Youth Alliance keep programs available for children and teens in San Benito, Gilroy, and Morgan Hill!

$10 Makes a Difference! Donate today at: https://www.razoo.com/story/YouthAll

Mejorar Vida’s a travez de la Donación Acompáñenos en esta campaña en linea las 24hrs hasta el 16 de mayo del 2017.

Por favor apoye a Youth Alliance mantener nuestros programas activos para niños/niñas y jóvenes en San Benito, Gilroy, y Morgan Hill!

$10 Hace la diferencia! Done hoy en: https://www.razoo.com/story/YouthAll

Youth Alliance Honored by the 2016 California Peace Award!

California Peace Award 2016

Youth Alliance Receives the 2016 California Peace Award


Youth Alliance was awarded the California Peace Award at National Night Out on August 2, 2016.  Asm. Luis Alejo’s representative, Javier Gomez, congratulated Executive Director, Diane Ortiz and the YA team for its contribution to the success and sustainability of programs and outreach that “enhance the community’s quality for the entire population and instill a great sense of pride in those individuals associated with” YA. In addition, YA was honored for “its exemplary record of civic engagement and community service,” all while acknowledging the importance of investing in our youth as prominent leaders of our community. YA is committed to investing and empowering these young leaders as agents of change not only for themselves but for their community as a whole. YA is on the forefront of our communities’ social uplifting–providing a much more socially conscious narrative in which our youth are seen as leaders and role-models for the rest of the community.


“YA is proud to be honored for investing in local youth for over 20 years. Our entire community benefits from our youth leaders when they are living proof that investing in their education and life success truly works.” – Diane Ortiz, Executive Director

My School My Rights Website - ACLU

My School My Rights

Last week the ACLU of California’s Education Team launched www.myschoolmyrights.com  a website and advocacy campaign dedicated towards ensuring that every California student knows their rights when it comes to education. In California, one out of five students does not graduate from high school within the four years despite the fact that EVERY CALIFORNIA STUDENT HAS A RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION. Let’s all support the ACLU’s campaign to STOP THE PUSH-OUT of California students by educating youth about their rights.

Please help us educate and empower California students:

  1. Share www.MySchoolMyRights.com on Facebook, Twitter, and with all the youth you know!
  2. Share the student macros and memes on the My School My Rights website on your social media accounts to promote student rights and the My School My Rights campaign.
  3. Talk to your youth about their rights and print any of the downloadable PDFs on their site that explain important areas of student rights.

On September 14, 2015, a Texas high school freshman Ahmed Mohamed was led away from campus in handcuffs and suspended for three days for bringing a homemade digital clock to school. The announcement of the website’s launch contends that Ahmed’s story is a reminder that we must support our students and their rights.

By visiting www.MySchoolMyRights.com, or on our Mobile Justice App., California students can learn about their specific rights related to:

Students can also read powerful stories of other California students whose rights were violated at school and their efforts to take action.

Chill Out & Living Above the Influence featured in Morgan Hill Life

To see the original article in Morgan Hill Life, click here

Nonprofit profile: ‘Living Above The Influence’ brings support for local families

Peers unite to help others navigate the influences of life

Published in the Sept. 16-29, 2015 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Marty Cheek

Photo by L&B Photography Participants release balloons in memory of loved ones during 2014’s Living Above The Influence event.

In 2007, Dori Prado’s daughter faced one of the struggles that challenge many teenagers. The 14-year-old girl confessed to Prado she had started smoking marijuana. Prado grew scared about the drug use and started blaming the friends her daughter was hanging out with for influencing her life in this direction. After some soul searching, she decided to give up the judgment and find a way to help the young people in the Morgan Hill community.

Dori told her father, Steve Prado, a one-time heroin addict who had turned his life around and became an alcohol and drug counselor, about the situation. The two decided to put on a workshop at Sobrato High School. Steve went to Dori’s daughter’s classroom to talk to the students… but it didn’t seem to be enough.

Dori then came up with the idea of putting on a friendly barbecue at Morgan Hill’s Community Park and inviting her daughter’s teenage friends to come and discuss how to face together life challenges such as drugs, gangs and prison that many young people encounter.

“We thought we’d have about 15, 20 kids. We had 75 people come that year,” Dori recalled. “It really inspired me to do it again. Right before that first year, my heart did soften about these kids. And I was thinking: what kind of homes do they come from? I know I’m trying to do the best for my daughter, and still I feel she’s out of control, right? What kind of homes are these kids coming from? Do they have the support at home?”


That park barbecue evolved into a community outreach event that has grown in popularity with hundreds of local young people and families. They gathered every October at either Community or Galvan parks to listen to the stories of young people who have overcome the temptations of drugs, alcohol and gangs, or deal with abuse or depression.

The 9th annual Living Above The Influence event will be held Oct. 10 at the Community and Cultural Center’s plaza.

“Living Above the Influence has really evolved into a community event that gathers resources for the community and gets speakers to give their testimonies that are encouraging and motivating,” Dori said. “It’s real life. These are things that are happening in our community youth and adults. A mother losing her kids to the system because of her own drug addiction. How does she overcome that? We do whatever we can to draw in the community.”

This year, bags of groceries will be given to the first 100 attendees. There will also be entertainment from the Mexican-America Azteca Dancers, rap singers, and poetry readings from young people. To make the day an extra fun celebration, participants can also win raffle prizes such as tickets to Gilroy Gardens Theme Park.

“Someone asked me, ‘Isn’t it like you’re trying to bribe the people to come?’ and I say, ‘Absolutely, I want them to come. I want them to hear these stories,’” Dori said. “And hopefully it touches their heart and helps them to make changes in their life if they’re struggling with those issues. And if they’re not struggling but they know somebody who is, maybe they can help that person out.”

Among the nearly 40 resource agencies that will be available for participants to meet is the nonprofit group Advent Youth Ministries which runs two homes in Morgan Hill for teenage boys and girls to stay at while they heal their lives. At the Living Above The Influence last year, the stories told were so powerful that a boy who was hooked on heroin and prescription pills sought help from Advent Youth Ministries, Dori said.

Living Above The Influence evolved a spin-off program to help young people develop life skills.

After the second year’s event in 2008 grew to 125 participants, Morgan Hill Recreation Coordinator Chiquy Mejia called Dori and asked if she might help bring a similar program to the Teen Center at the Centennial Recreation Center. At first, Dori was hesitant.

But she soon found herself working with the CRC staff to establish the “Chill Out” program where young people got an opportunity to hear the stories of people much like them who faced and overcame struggles with alcohol, drugs and gangs.

“The kids were very, very interested in these types of stories,” Dori said. “They were connected to it and they wanted to hear more. They’d say, ‘Bring somebody else in,’ because a lot of these testimonies are very heart-felt that they’d be crying when they heard about kids being taken away or whatever situation it might be.”

Chill Out now includes training young people on basic life skills such as helping them understand about good financial habits as well as the 41 Developmental Assets, qualities in a community that help young people succeed. It meets every Thursday evening at the Community and Cultural Center.

“This has developed because of Living Above The Influence and it’s something that I’m really proud of,” Dori said.

One thing Dori often points out to people is why the term “Living Above The Influence” was chosen.

“People ask me what that means. Is it talking about drugs and alcohol?” she said. “That’s not what it’s about. It’s about the influences of life. What I like to tell the kids is that if there is something that is affecting your everyday productivity, whatever that may be, you’re living under that influence. And I tell them we need to live above those influences.”


What: Living Above The Influence
When: Noon to 4:30 p.m., Oct. 10
Where: Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center,
17000 Monterey Road
Contact: (408) 390-9012 or email Livingabovetheinfluence07@gmail.com

Put a Stop to Math Misplacement in our Schools–Support SB 359!

Support SB 359

From the Silicon Valley Community Foundation


Many students are being unfairly held back because their school district does not rely on objective measures to determine their placement. The result is “math misplacement,” a practice that results in a student being forced to repeat a math course even though objective measures such as test scores indicate they should be advanced to the next course. Studies have shown that math misplacement disproportionately affects students of color.

The most egregious math misplacement issue occurs when a student is held back to repeat Algebra 1 instead of being advanced to Geometry. This can cause students to fall too far behind to complete the courses that colleges expect a math or science major to have taken.

Accurate placement is essential to preparing students for a college track and/or readiness for growing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). At a time when the state and nation face a shortage of qualified STEM workers to meet workforce demands, we must find ways to fix this leak in the STEM pipeline.

Please support Senator Holly Mitchell’s SB 359–The California Mathematics Placement Act of 2015.  SB 359 will ensure that school districts adopt fair, objective and transparent math placement policies so that no student will experience math misplacement.


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