ES Yolo Academy Logo

The Ethnic Studies Youth Organizing and Leadership Opportunity, otherwise known as YOLO Academy, was established during the global pandemic in 2021. 

The YOLO Academy was created to inspire, serve and support Native, Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) communities, especially their youth and young adults. 

Our mission is to help develop leadership skills and use of art activism to strengthen voice and increase civic engagement for the wellness of youth, educators, families, and communities.

YOLO Academy works in collaboration and partnership to provide three primary services:

  1. Annual YOLO Academy Instruction Program

  2. Annual Ethnic Studies Professional Development

  3. Quarterly Ethnic Studies Community Building and Leadership Workshops

The YOLO Academy is an opportunity to attend community building activities, join in critical thinking discussions, and engage in hands-on workshops and cultural arts. The goals are to:

  1. Build trusting relationships through team building activities.

  2. Teach collaboration and communication through art expression. 

  3. Develop civic and cultural awareness by learning about Ethnic Studies.

  4. Encourage a sense of belonging, wellness, and agency for civic engagement.

  5. Keep it Fun!

The YOLO Academy is led with the assistance of educators, university students, college students, and community members who have a background in Ethnic Studies (i.e., African American Studies, Asian American Studies, Chicanx Studies, Native American Studies and/or Comparative Ethnic Studies) and/or undergo a series of training sessions with the YOLO Academy.