El Monte Students Attend Young Worker Leadership Academy at UC Berkeley

About the Young Worker Leadership Academy

Did you know that every 4 seconds a young worker (under age 24) is injured? This is twice the rate for workers age 25 and older (according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2011). The Young Worker Leadership Academy is based on the premise that engaging youth will improve efforts to solve this problem because youth will bring ideas, insights and enthusiasm that otherwise wouldn’t be present. YWLA is an all-expense paid, 3-day leadership training for teens on workplace safety, rights, and responsibilities. YWLA’s mission is to build youth leaders and advocates for safe workplaces. The leadership academy introduces participants to service strategies (policy, education, media) and provides a forum for youth to plan service-learning projects for their schools and communities to promote positive, safe employment for youth.
The goals of the YWLA are to:
♦ Familiarize participants with young worker safety, including how and why youth are injured at work, their rights
on the job, and prospective solutions recommended by other youth and adult experts.
♦ Introduce participants to the basic elements of the policymaking process, especially those related to young
worker safety.
♦ Help participating youth to develop, implement, and evaluate a project to promote workplace health and safety
during Safe Jobs for Youth Month in May.
♦ Develop leadership abilities among participating youth, including the knowledge, confidence and skills they will
need to create positive change where workplace safety is concerned.

Recap of YWLA 2023

Four YouthBuild Charter School of California students from our El Monte SGVCC site attended this year's Young Worker Leadership Academy (YWLA)-- Maria Barajas, Danny Lopez, Alexis Mendoza, and Beila Vejar-- along with their teacher/chaperone Mr. Joey Reyes. 
The YWLA was a unique opportunity for our young people to become leaders and advocates for teen labor rights and health and safety. Through a series of workshops they attended, the students learned how and why youth are injured at work, their rights on the job, and how youth can have an impact on public policy, at both the local and state level. Students participated in workshops, including Youth Perspectives on Workplace Safety, Know Your Rights, Hazard Mapping, and Workplace Violence Prevention, as well as activities, such as a group scavenger hunt on the UC Berkeley campus and role playing how to speak up in the workplace. They also participated in breakout groups with other youth to learn from one another, brainstorm, and collect data. 
After attending YWLA, the students recorded a podcast about young workers' rights, which you can check out on our SoundCloud here: https://soundcloud.com/ybcharter/ywla-podcast 
Below are some photos from the Leadership Academy:
Students pose at UC Berkeley
Students wearing masks talk in a breakout group
students wearing masks talk in a breakout group table
a student wearing a mask stands at a podium
a group of female students stand in front of a whiteboard to present their findings
students pose with their hands out outside the UC Berkeley campus
students stand in a line to present their research
students and Mr. Reyes with their YWLA completion certificates
students hold their bags at the Oakland airport terminal
We are so proud of our young people for representing YouthBuild at YWLA and look forward to hearing them share what they learned. Special thanks to Mr. Reyes for applying for this opportunity and chaperoning the students.