The Center for Community Advocacy’s (CCA) was founded in 1989, our mission is to provide education, orientation, and legal support to farmworkers and other low-income working families who want to establish neighborhood committees that work to improve housing and health conditions. Our mission has led us to establish three programs: Housing, Promotores de Salud and Youth for Change.
In 2017, Youth for Change members developed a five-session curriculum to teach youth and parents about higher education opportunities. Since then CCA has intentionally reached over 150 families and wants to continue reaching more. Currently, CCA and El Sausal Middle School in Salinas are collaborating so CCA youth program can impact 20 school families. In the future, we hope more schools in the county can open their doors and collaborate with CCA to change more lives. CCA truly believes the program has helped steer youth in directions that help them realize their potential as leaders and their value to their community. CCA is proud to offer opportunities such as internships, mentorship, leadership capacity and job opportunities. Azucena Barrios, who started with CCA when she was a junior at Everett Álvarez High in Salinas is now a senior at CSUMB recently became a full-time CCA staff to lead the youth program. Mariluz Tejeda-Leon, Acosta Plaza resident, graduated from Hartnell College in the Spring of 2019 and has now moved to New Haven, Connecticut to start her journey at Yale University. These are just a few stories of youth that have undergone CCA’s program.
In the youth program, the overall purpose is to develop youth leadership and provide civic engagement opportunities for youth to express themselves and make positive impactful changes in their community. Youth leaders have decided to invest time in three focus areas: education on the importance of voting with a non-partisan focus, educate other youth about pursuing higher education opportunities and access to safe open spaces and parks. In each area, youth had experienced barriers and developed action plans to overcome the challenges.