Reviews and reflections

Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy programs give me the opportunity to meet and connect with people in a unique way. A safe environment is created where I’ve been able to learn more about other people's perspectives, as well as gain confidence in group discussions and in my leadership skills. -- Youth Leader, M. Oler

The ES YOLO Academy was a phenomenal and memorable experience. Learning about other individuals’ culture was enriching. Being able to hear and share cultural stories, explain cultural items that hold traditional value, and discuss the issues that impact culture and diversity in our lives today was extremely insightful and eye opening. Everyone was understanding, cooperative, friendly, and supportive. I enjoyed meeting new people and bonding over our discussions, because at the end of the program it felt as if we formed a close-knit family, and we did. -- Youth Participant, T. Chang

I find the Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy programs to be a place that represents the necessary strides taken towards the re-education of youth. YOLO Academy challenges participants, including facilitators, to be critical of information and re-evaluate misinformation they have ingested in their educational journey. It is an experience to challenge one's mind within a nourishing environment. -- Youth Leader, D. Engrotto

Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy 1-day is such a critical communal gathering space for the emerging young demographic who will positively change our county in years to come! I felt as though a bridge was built to cultivate a community between the younger and older members exchanging knowledge. -- Youth Ally, M. Diaz

My experience with the 5-day Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy program was honestly fun. I went with my friend. Even though it was only 5 days, everyone really got to know each other. Now a lot of us recognize each other and wave at school. Because I liked the program, I will come back this summer, not as a participant but as a leader. I am really excited! -- Youth Leader, Gabi

I really enjoyed participating in the 1-day Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy. I had the opportunity to challenge myself, build skills, and interact with amazing youth. I was truly impressed by my team members. I think the Academy is a great opportunity for youth to build skills, engage, bond, and build lasting relationships. -- Youth Ally, V. Chavez

My two daughters, third and first year, had an amazing 5-day program at the Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy in the summer of 2022. They literally meet the group, and left as friends by the end of the week, showing respect and empathy for each other’s ethnic background, traditions, and experiences. The Ethnic Studies program was educational, empathetic, and engaging. Thank you for spearheading this program! -- Parent, L. Chang

In working with the Ethnic Studies YOLO Academy Program I have learned that it is crucial to learn about different perspectives. When you learn about different perspectives it can benefit you in your life as it can help create less conflict, have a better understanding, and have empathy when it comes to listening or reading from someone else’s point of view. — Youth Leader, A. Herrera

It was an amazing experience getting to work with student participants. Watching them flourish and begin the process of unpacking and piecing together what had been missing from their educational journey was a proud moment. These students are our future leaders and they deserve every possible tool they can get in order to pave the way for themselves and the next generations. — Young Adult Leader and Youth Ally, M. Featherstone

5-day program surveys, 100% of the students felt that the program was excellent and would recommend the program to a friend.  Comments:

  • “Everything was EXTREMELY done well in this program! I really enjoyed it.”

  • “It was so educational and a very important experience! Thank you so much” 

  • “I really enjoyed how much collaboration we had, I wish we could've gone even more in depth”

  • “it was really nice to meet everybody and learning more about different cultures”

  • “I think everything was done greatly.”

  • “Thank you so much for this fun experience. I had so much fun. I would love to come back next year if I can. Also I might be inviting friends if they have time to come.”

  • “It was a very fun program and we learned a lot”.

  • “I had a great experience but I wish students were more in the loop and that this program was better advertised.”