During the 2020–21 school year, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) partnered with the Youth Development Network (YDN) to launch a program that would promote youth leadership and civic engagement. The program, which was structured to assist communities challenged by COVID-19, was funded through a generous $25,000 donation from Intel.
The COVID Youth Response Board (CYRB) convened in October 2020 and was first tasked with developing a grant proposal process. The diverse group of eight local youth (ranging in age from 14 to 20) then reviewed and evaluated grant applications and selected the recipients. The experience taught the youth leadership skills as they learned about the challenges local communities face and were given the opportunity to help.
By the end of the school year, six local projects were selected for funding, including food for community members, student Podcasts, and translation services to ensure equitable civic engagement.
- Activate Sacramento (Veritable Good Consulting)—Working to ensure that support for trauma caused by COVID-19 is addressed in the City of Sacramento’s General Plan
- Encina Preparatory High School Garden Revitalization—Training students to establish and maintain a garden
- Give Back Communities (Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association)—Creating care packages with PPE and sanitizing products for less fortunate individuals
- GO 2021 (IKON Youth at Good Shepherd Church)—Providing meals to families who have been impacted by COVID-19
- San Juan Unified School District Student Outreach (Superintendent’s Student Advisory)—Student Wellness and Leadership series focused on hearing students’ voices
- STAY FOCUSED—Monthly video workshops to help stay focused on school during the pandemic