Young people are residents like all others. And like all residents, young people have a voice in the policies that impact their community.

On July 31st, 2015, the UC San Diego Youth Advisory Council made its voice heard by organizing and hosting an International Youth Day event. In keeping with the theme of the UN International Youth Day 2015, “Youth Civic Engagement,” the UC San Diego Youth Advisory Council and the Copley-Price Family YMCA collaborated to create an opportunity highlighting the importance of accessible, affordable, healthy foods in the community.

The event featured Chef Chelsea Carpenter from Copley-Price Family YMCA, who not only shared her culinary expertise, but also her enthusiasm for youth participation, both in the kitchen and through motivating youth with hands-on activities.

“In today’s world, engaging youth is a significant way to enact positive change in our society,” said Amina Sheik Mohamed, Senior Manager at UC San Diego Center for Community Health. “Our youth engagement program offers tools, leadership training, and a trusted environment so that youth may share their voices and be the change makers in their communities.”

More efforts are needed to raise awareness about the importance of youth civic engagement and its benefits for both the individuals and the community. Promoting youth involvement empowers future leaders and brings attention to the importance of social, economic, and political contributions from all members of the community. Our young leaders captured the enthusiasm of the day using photography and social media to share their stories and their voices, for all to see and hear.

To partner or learn more about the UC San Diego Youth Advisory Council contact Amina Sheik Mohamed at Asheikmohamed@ucsd.edu

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