I am Priyanka, a senior at Saratoga High School. Outside of school I enjoy girl scouting, horse riding, and reading. When I graduate high school, I would like to study medicine and become a neurologist. Over the last two years, I have been an active participant in the programs and the Youth Advisory Council at the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center (SVILC). I look forward to being part of YO so that I can share the importance of advocacy and disability pride with other youth in the community. I see YO as a wonderful opportunity to help other youth with disabilities by showing them the wide variety of resources and support from peers that they can use to reach their goals.
Youth Volunteer Corps Priyanka N. Silicon Valley Independent Living Center – San Jose, CA
Hi! My name is Darion and I am 19 years old. I'm a student at Willow International Community College. I am planning to transfer to Fresno State University and major in Computer Science. Currently I am a member of ASG (Associated Student Government) at Willow International and our focus is on leadership. We organize fantastic events for the student body and provide ongoing support to our peers. The things that I really enjoy doing are socializing, playing basketball, working on computers, and helping out around my community. I joined YO! Disabled & Proud to become an advocate, to start new youth groups, and to share my leadership skills with others. My favorite quote is, "Believe in yourself, work hard, become successful, and help others who need help." Life does not just revolve around me; it revolves around every human being. Being a part of YO! Disabled & Proud is having a gigantic impact on my life and I'm ready to do more.
Youth Volunteer Corps Darion A. Resources for Independence, Central Valley – Fresno, CA
Hey everyone! My name is Damary, I'm 21 years old and I live in Hayward. I am a Latina and I speak 2 languages, English and Spanish. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. I use an iPad to communicate myself with people. I graduated from Hayward High School in 2010. I'm thinking of going to Chabot College this coming January and take some classes that has to do with disability laws. I have a one-year old daughter and on my free time I love being with her and watch her grow. She is my main priority in life and my inspiration, without her I'm nothing and I would like for her to get involved with the disability community so she will learn and in the future she could be proud of the productive work that I had done for disability issues. Also on my free time I like to be with my family and go out on the weekends and I like to spend time with my boyfriend on his days off and spend time with our daughter as well. I love music as well, my favorite singer is Usher whom I met him in 2010, and that was one of my best days! I've been part of DANY (Disability Action Network for Youth) since March 2010, I love being part of DANY because I learn more about my history and I meet new people. My favorite part of DANY is Disability History Presentations, I love presenting in high schools, it makes me feel like I'm kind of changing the world and I'm educating students as well. I am really excited and truly thankful that I have the opportunity of being a YO! Volunteer at CRIL, I feel that I'm achieving more in my life and goals because one of my goals is let every person in this world know that we are disabled and we are proud because we are all human.
Youth Volunteer Corps Damary B. Community Resources for Independent Living – Hayward, CA
My name is Jenaro and I am 23 years of age. Currently I am a student at Cerritos College where I am pursuing a career in Neuroscience. After acquiring my BS I am undecided on whether I want to become a researcher or continue my education on to medical school; however one thing is for sure, I want to contribute to the medical field. When I am not hitting the school books I enjoy wheelchair rugby, hanging out with friends, traveling, meeting new people, reading, and above all self improvement. My ambition for self improvement led me to YO!. When I first came across YO! in January of 2011 I was in search of experiences that would help me accept my disability while at the same time help me grow as an individual. That's exactly what YO! did for me. By attending events such as the Own My Power summit I was able to develop leadership skills that I have implemented in my daily life and in the DHW campaign. DCAD was another event that made me conscious of the disability community and the importance of advocating for our rights. Disability Pride parade helped me accept myself for who I am and what I am capable of doing. I have been a part of all these great events thanks to YO! and their resources.
Youth Volunteer Corps Jenaro S. Dayle McIntosh Center – Garden Grove, CA
My name is Alexa and I am 22 years old. I attend Sacramento State University as a child development major with hopes of being a teacher. Some of my hobbies are hanging out with my friends and I also love volunteering in my free time. I am passionate about making a better community for people with disabilities and to get them more opportunities to go to college and get a career. I also want to help people stand up for their selves and to know that they have a voice no matter what.
Youth Volunteer Corps Alexa M. California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA
My name is Shelly and I am very pleased to have been awarded the opportunity to work with YO! I am 19 years old and I have just made a drastic change moving from my home town in Santa Rosa to San Francisco. I am currently pursuing an Associate Degree at the Community College of San Francisco. I wish to further my education by transitioning to SFSU after I finish at CCSF. I am a very science oriented individual. Many who know me would define me as the stereotypical "nerd". I love watching science documentaries and reading up on the latest medical journals. I also like to attend social gatherings and just relax with my friends. Basically, I'm content with my life and I have high aspirations on how I will make my mark for YO!
Youth Volunteer Corps Shelly D. Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco – San Francisco, CA
My name is Rodney I'm 25 years old and I currently attend College of Marin. I'm working towards my Associates Degree and am majoring in Psychology. I would eventually like to work with inner-city kids and be a role model for them because I know what it's like and understand the importance of positive influences. When I'm not attending school or chilin' with my friends I am usually producing or writing music. I decided to become a YO! Volunteer because I can appreciate the work that is being done to create a bully-free world and want to be part of it. The disability rights movement is new to me but it's been really cool to learn about it and become a part of the action. I became disabled at 21, but I've lived with disability my entire life. My sister and my niece are disabled and part of the reason why I want to work with inner-city youth is because there are lots of other young people with disabilities that no nothing about disability rights or Independent Living Centers and I want to make sure that they know what their potential is and how to tap into the resource they need to be successful.
Youth Volunteer Corps Rodney J. Marin Center for Independent Living – San Rafael, CA
Hi my name is Jeremy. I'm 19 years old and I live in Santa Fe Springs CA. I attend Cerritos Colleges and my major is business since I want to own my own restaurant. My hobbies are playing sports, hanging with friends, singing, dancing and cooking. I volunteer at SCRS and I just love it. I love meeting new people with disabilities. My life was impacted when I had an interview with Deserie Ortiz who selected me to go to YLF in 2011. Going to YLF changed my life. It taught me the true meaning of disability and to me disability is defined by being strong, empowered, and being successful no matter what walls are in front of you. As I left YLF learning about disability history I also walked out meeting someone special. I met my girlfriend there; she is a blessing to my life. She also makes a difference in my life by encouraging me to do the best I can. The reason why I want to be a volunteer for YO is because I want to make a difference in people lives. I want to give them what everyone gave me, which is showing me empowerment knowing I can make a difference. I want to teach what I was taught and tell others who have a disability never to be ashamed because without that disability you wouldn't be the person you are, which is amazing.
Youth Volunteer Corps Jeremy L. Southern California Rehabilitation Services – Downey, CA
Hi. My name is Kelsey and I am 18 years old. I will be graduating in the spring of 2013 after my junior year of high school. My plan is to attend college in the fall - I am deciding where I want to go. My participation in the Workability program led me to become a member of YO! Volunteer Corp. I am now the YO! Volunteer at the Marin Center for Independent Living. I am interested in working on educational issues. I want to insure that everyone has an equal chance. In order to get my accommodation needs met I have had to constantly be a strong self-advocate and fight for my educational rights. I am really excited to be a part of YO! Disabled & Proud. I look forward to helping create change and improvements in the lives of young people who have disabilities, so that we are all regarded for our abilities. I look forward to meeting and working with all of the YO! Volunteers in the CIL Community.
Youth Volunteer Corps Kelsey O. Marin Center for Independent Living – San Rafael, CA
Tyler is 20 years old and has been a part of YO! since November of 2012. Tyler's goal is to eventually own his own landscaping company but in the meantime he enjoys writing music, hanging out with friends and playing a lot of sports. Tyler likes YO! because it is very team oriented and can find a lot of different resources and tools to help succeed in the world and be able to work together. "YO! has impacted me because it gives people with disabilities the tools and preparation to succeed in life and has already provided me with resources and tools to help me reach my goals."