Trinity County Office of Education
Sarah Supahan – County Superintendent of Schools
www.tcoek12.org • (530) 623-2861
Trinity County Students Attend the 2019 Youth Empowerment Summit
This was the eighth year that a team of Foster youth and Homeless youth from Trinity County have participated in the annual Youth Empowerment Summit (YES) in Sacramento. The Summit is a hands-on approach for students to learn to become positive change leaders in their communities and leaders on youth issues. They learn about the process of government by understanding how upcoming legislative bills will beneficially impact California’s most vulnerable youth, and they learn how to advocate for the bills being submitted for consideration.
At the end of April, nine students representing Trinity County, along with Trinity County Office of Education Team Leaders, Chris Ashton-Boyd and Tiffany Wright (Foster-Youth Homeless Liaisons), attended prearranged meetings with State Assembly members and/or State Senators to advocate for three bills using their own life experiences as testimony to explain how each of these bills will support California’s youth. The Bills under consideration are AB 307 (Homeless Youth Grant Program) AB 748 (Nonminor Dependents) and AB 806 (Postsecondary Education: Homeless and Former Homeless Youth). The team fully understood the significance of why they were there and realized that their voices, quite literally, were being heard.
State Senator Mike McGuire became aware that a youth delegation from Trinity County was at the State Capitol building and, even though he could not be there himself, personally invited the team to his office so his staff could hear their stories and their advocacy. The Senator expressed how much he appreciated that the youth from Trinity County would make the effort to travel to the State Capitol to express their concerns and support for the upcoming bills. The group was well received by the Senator’s staff. The team wants to thank Senator McGuire and his staff for the personal invitation and for the attention to their concerns.
The annual Youth Empowerments Summit event is organized by the California Coalition for Youth and the delegation from Trinity County was supported by the Trinity County Office of Education, Trinity County Child Welfare, Trinity County Behavioral Health and the California Heritage Youth Build Academy.