Every year, the YAC works towards recruiting driven, compassionate, and motivated youth from all over San Diego county to continue its mission of promoting healthy living in communities. Learn more about our dedicated 2023-2024 YAC members!

Amy, Grade 11, The Preuss School

Amy is an avid member of the Preuss Schools Multicultural Club, where she works towards creating a more culturally rich and educated school environment. She has also been a part of her school’s newspaper, the Preuss Insider, for two years now and currently serves as the appointed School News editor. Amy has received awards for her AP African American Studies research paper and an award in AP Spanish. Her hobbies include journaling, reading, and she is always adding to her Pinterest boards!

 “Three things that I would like to change in my community would be the lack of mental health awareness in our youth, the amount of access underserved communities have to healthy, nutritious foods, and I would like to reduce the amount of pollution thats present in public spaces. ”

Elleaire, Grade 10, Coronado High School

Elleaire is very active in school, as she has been a part of the Associated Student Body for the past 2 years. She feels that being a school leader brings her purpose of bridging friendships and peer equality. Elleaire was the Coronado Middle School Chapter founder of Kid By Kid from inception in 2019. KBK is a tutoring program that includes a mentorship aspect that promotes academic achievement by listening, academic assistance, and providing support and inspiration to young Learners. In her spare time, Elleaire also belongs to the Junior Optimist International of Coronado which aids in increasing our community service and being kind to one another. There is an abundance of ways to achieve this goal with a creative mind and inclusiveness. Elleaire enjoys hobbies such as piano and art as well as competitive golf and lacrosse. 

“At a young adolescent age, remaining in good health is critical. Many factors apply in keeping this balance; both internal decisions and the surrounding environment resources. The three topics that contribute to good health and three community changes I would like to focus on are good healthy eating habits, having access to more nutritious meals, and having better access to exercise and recreational sports. Having healthy eating habits ties into access to more nutritious meals. Reaching out and educating those who struggle with unhealthy eating habits can completely change their outlook and lifestyle. In addition to healthy eating and access to more nutritional meals, proper exercise also helps achieve a healthy lifestyle. I feel it can be hard to feel motivated to exercise, so that’s why having resources and access to recreational sports is so important. Furthermore, getting healthy with exercise may expose you to meeting new people, developing new skills, and becoming more involved with our community.”

Keira, Grade 11, Francis Parker High

Keira is a high school leader with a passion for the empowerment of women in her community. Her presidency in tutorHER, a nonprofit tutoring organization focused on the uplifting of young girls, involvement in FAV (female athlete volunteers), a community service club filled with young female athletes hoping to make a positive change in the world, and commitment to the USCD YAC are examples of Keira’s embracing of her passion. Step by step, student by student, girl by girl, Keira hopes to continue her work and assist her community, especially through the compassion and citizenship of the YAC.

“As stated in my bio, I would like to continue my work and improve the connected girlhood in my community in any way possible, whether it’s tutoring, teaching lacrosse to young girls, or assisting food distributions in my county. Through collaboration in projects or having an activity to bond over, it is crucial for high school girls to communicate with the younger generation, empower, and uplift them in ways the modern world refuses to do. I would also like to focus on growing issues in our San Diego community through the YAC and try to unionize available high school students looking to make a change in the world to address and hopefully overcome any expanding concerns. “

Mia, Grade 11, San Diego High School

Mia have been on the varsity girls tennis for all of high school. Last year, she founded the San Diego High Mock Trial Team and led the team as president to 4th place in San Diego County. She is also vice president of the San Diego High Chapter of Wing Magazine, a magazine focused on student health and well-being. Mia is a dedicated volunteer around San Diego, volunteering at the San Diego Food Bank as well as participating in community clean-ups. Her other interests include reading, playing piano, and cooking. After high school, she plans on following a career in law.

“In my community, I think the most important thing to change is our housing crisis. No matter the neighborhood in San Diego, I see homeless people on the street with nowhere to go, and it motivates me to make a difference. The second thing I would like to change in my community is access to healthy food for everyone across San Diego. The last thing I would like to change is to stop the pollution at our beaches in San Diego.”


Arthur, Grade 10, Torrey Pines High School

Arthur established the ForSocialGoods program, an initiative dedicated to inspiring positive social change to promote food justice, health equity, and public safety. He has participated in diverse civic service projects, including the produce pantry program, food drives, snack drives, smile drives, service day programs, youth gardening initiatives, and fundraising events. He testified in a legislative meeting with representatives from Senator Toni Atkins’ office for food justice.

At Torrey Pines High School, he participates in the Science Olympiad, Mock Trial, Cross Country, and Track & Field. He is actively involved in multiple organizations, including the UCSD Youth Advisory Council, iCAN Youth Council, Feeding San Diego, Teen Advisory Board, ENGin, Alzheimer’s San Diego, California Highway Patrol, etc. He enjoys running, volunteering, and spending time with his friends. In the future, he plans to tackle critical issues in social justice and equality to build a kinder and safer community.

“If I could make three changes in my community, I would work on 1) Food equity by implementing nutrition education, promoting healthy eating habits, and emphasizing food waste prevention. 2) Affordable healthcare, specifically promoting mental health services and conversations to reduce stigma. 3) A safer community, free from drugs, addiction, and violence.”

Sabrina, Grade 11, The Preuss School

Sabrina is involved in several clubs at school, including TSU-Nami. With this club, she works alongside my peers to increase conversations about mental health and provide resources to other students. She is also a member of the Ecology Club, which works to mitigate food waste and trash pollution in our community. Outside of school, she is on the San Diego Museum of Arts Teen Council, where they create programs that are accessible to everyone in our community. Additionally, Sabrina is a San Diego Squared Fellow. In her spare time, she enjoys running and is the captain of Preuss school’s cross-country and track teams. She also has a passion for photography, videography, and reading.

“Three things I would change in my community and would want YAC to focus on for 2024 include inadequate access to and conversations surrounding mental health, lack of accessibility for those with visible and non-visible disabilities, and limited access to healthy foods and medical resources for individuals belonging to socioeconomically disadvantaged communities. By joining the Youth Advisory Council (YAC), I am hoping to work with my peers and take the necessary steps to bring about positive changes in our community.”

Durga, Grade 12, Mt. Carmel High School

Durga is passionate about helping people and hope to one day pursue a career in the medical field. In school, she is the president of the Future Medical Professional Club and the Red Cross Club and work to organize and lead volunteer events and awareness for different causes in both those clubs. Outside of school, she is involved in Alzheimer’s San Diego where she works closely with organization members to raise awareness of the stigma around Alzheimer’s disease, and for the past few years, she also had the opportunity to tutor middle school kids in math.

Durga spends most of her weekends working at Scripps Hospital getting to work closely with nurses and staff and explore the medical field. As a school ambassador, she is able to promote drug and alcohol-free lifestyles to elementary and middle school kids and teach the character pillars (respect, trustworthiness, citizenship, fairness, caring, and responsibility. She was also named one of the Distinguished Young Women of San Diego County and enjoyed competing at the state level for the California title. Some of her other interests include Indian Classical dance, Piano, and volunteering.

“If I could change 3 things in my community it would be providing access to food for everyone, equity and access to quality education, and fostering a sense of community and inclusivity.”

Alan, Grade 11, Del Norte High School

Alan is passionate about STEM and the medical field, channeling his passion into raising awareness for rare yet profound diseases. He created the Del Norte FSHD(facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy) team that partners with the FSHD Society to support patients with FSHD, a rare and devastating genetic disease affecting the muscles. Motivated by a sense of purpose, he and his classmates have done a series of jumping jack events to help fundraise and support the FSHD Society and their mission. In addition, he is the president of the chemistry club at his school, taking on a hands-on approach to inspire his fellow students by encouraging their participation in the WUCT competition and creating a deeper appreciation for chemistry. Outside of academics and philanthropy, Alan’s hobbies include playing the piano, swimming, and playing video games. In the future, he plans to major in a biology or chemistry related field.

“If I could change three things in my community, I would first encourage the community to help fight rare diseases, whether it’s donating money or researching a method to help patients. Many people suffer from rare diseases, yet these diseases go unheard of by the public. Next, I would like to promote STEM education to students in the community. As technology is changing the world rapidly, it’s important to empower people with skills that will help them live a productive life in the twenty-first century. Finally, I would like promote mental health awareness among students. As high schoolers are taking on increasingly difficult workloads, it’s always important to balance work and stress so that us students can enjoy our time as teenagers.”

Saanvi, Grade 10, Del Norte High School

Saanvi is passionate about equity in health and education. She founded a nonprofit organization called Science Nexus that is dedicated to promoting science education for underserved communities through an experiential learning model. Currently, Science Nexus has established eight chapters in six different countries around the world. She is also a youth advisor for the California Coalition for Youth that advocates for public policies that empower and protect the rights of youth. Saanvi is also a part of the Student Leadership Board for the Greater San Diego Science and Engineering Fair. As the president of a research club at her school, she provides a collaborative learning environment for members to dive deep into an area of study to perform meaningful scientific research on real world issues. Furthermore, Saanvi is a member of Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA), a global organization that aims to empower future health professionals through education and collaboration. She has helped organize health campaigns, blood drives, workshops, and public speakers to encourage health professions in her school.

“If I could change three things in my community, it would be advocating for better policies on the criminal justice system – diminishing the school-to prison pipeline, improving public education, and implementing resources and solutions for those experiencing homelessness. Through Mid- City CAN and Fulfilling Destiny I’ve taken initiative in trying to find solutions and advocating for change within these issues. By joining the Youth Advisory Council I hope to further change within communities by working alongside fellow youth.”

Valerie, Grade 11, The Preuss School

As a young low-income, first-generation, and hard-of-hearing Latina, Valerie’s encounters with social roadblocks throughout her journey towards higher education have made systemic barriers noticeably clear. However, her sea of patience and perseverance has enabled her to master the art of listening and using her voice as an empowered social activist. She has always found a deep fascination in learning about the rich, cultural backgrounds and unjust experiences of historically marginalized groups, as it establishes the fundamental values for future educated generations. Through her membership in both the Art Club and Rho Kappa Honor Society, she is  able to apply both, her artistry and activism skills, as a means of displaying pleasing, yet empowering artistic pieces to the human eye. She also an advocate of the preservation of the Spanish language, culture, and history as the president of the Spanish National Honor Society. Valerie loves fostering an inclusive community as a student-athlete, especially as the captain of both the Varsity Boys and Girls Cross Country and Track teams and as a dedicated member of TSU-NAMI, a mental health club on the Preuss school’s campus, promoting the accessibility of resources through critical conversations.

“As part of a minoritized community, I am deeply driven to make mental health and invisible impairment resources easily accessible to Black and Brown communities, aiding in the effort to debunk widely held misconceptions. I would also like to focus on the implementation of safe, green spaces. Unsafe conditions within the few green spaces in my community have inhibited young athletes from easy access to healthy and active routines. Establishing safer conditions within new green spaces is absolutely necessary for the well-being of younger generations.”

Eric, Grade 11, Olympian High School

Eric is an extroverted individual who loves to meet and connect with others. His extracurriculars include playing Volleyball, working at a high-level reputable math tutoring organization, Club Officer of DLI/MeCha clubs. Building a stronger Chicano community and organizing events for people with similar Chicano backgrounds. Eric is also a member of his school’s Wellness Club, which promotes a safe and open space for everyone to connect. He hope to pursue a career in chemistry/engineering.

“If I could change 3 things in my community, it would be improving the sense of pride within an individuals culture/religion/background/etc. and to learn to not be afraid to show who you truly are and what represents you; advocating for mental health awareness and creating possible programs/organizations to help diminish the ever-growing issue among students; also, promoting healthy eating and developing new habits. I plan on taking initiative on these changes over the course of my high-school career and will use my prior and current experience in my clubs to ensure that measures are being taken to help achieve these goals.”

Vidha, Grade 10, Del Norte High School

Vidha is an ambitious and passionate high-schooler with a interest in medicine, philosophy, and community-driven volunteering with 2+ years of experience in the field. She is interested in researching practical ways to bring out the ethical and human aspect in the mechanical treatment and insensitivity prevalent in healthcare provision and nonprofit aid in society today.

“If I could change three things in my community, it would be 1) Mental Health Emphasis 2) Vaping Awareness 3) Emotional Wellbeing”


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