Written by Archbishop MItty students Janani Rangarajan, Brianna Mims, and Laura Cervantes.
Always looking for the opportunity to make a difference, The Mitty Advocacy Project (MAP) held their first ever Youth Advocacy Leadership Conference on Saturday, February 2nd at Archbishop Mitty High School. Mitty students organized four informative seminars training teenagers on how they can fulfill their role as advocates in their community. Special guests included Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren who delivered an inspiring speech about her experiences in the U.S. Congress and answered questions from student participants. She was joined by her two senior aides ZJ Hull and Ali Ramezanzadeh who led a workshop session on Human Trafficking and how to effectively lobby public offices. There were also three other student organized sessions that covered how to resolve conflicts in negotiations, developing an Advocacy group on your campus, and the issue of Human Trafficking in our society. This is a great step towards increased youth involvement in our society.
To say that young people have a voice in changing society is an understatement. The Catholic Community has always believed in young people’s involvement in the public, but we had never anticipating this level of interest from young people across the state of California. Events like this one are very supportive of Catholic values because it is a step that young people are taking by themselves to ensure that they are heard in an organized and effective way. Their actions serve as a stepping stone for future change regarding issues pertinent to today’s teenagers and most of all to create permanent changes to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
After hearing the information presented, several of the attendees expressed interest in starting programs in their schools to follow the actions of Mitty Advocacy Project. We feel this is an important moment in history as we step forth working proactively with our government officials to ensure those struggling in our streets have someone working on their behalf and improving their quality of life.