Hello. My name is Nathan. I am a student at the Los Rio Community Colleges. I am majoring in Anthropology. I also wish to make a difference in my community and lessen the stereotypes that my community faces. I wish to prove to the world that just because you are disabled, that does not mean you are worthless. You can contribute to society and become a pillar of your community. I was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4, ever since then my world had changed. Ever since I was a child people have told me that I do not have a purpose in the world. And, I am not sorry to say, that people still say that to me even today, at some organizations designed to help Disabled People. It is my dream to open my own Elementary School for Autistic Children and a Vocational School for High School graduates with Autism. I want everyone to know that just because you have Autism, you are not worthless.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Nathan

Youth Volunteer Corps Nathan S. California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA

My name is Jessica, I am 23. I have epilepsy. I recently graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a dual major in Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. It was not easy but hope was never lost. I am excited to be a part of YO! Volunteer Corps and I'm looking forward to working on the #ADA25th and Disability History Week campaigns. I like challenges and I can't wait to meet other YO! members. I have many new ideas and can't wait to work together. I bring optimism to this space.

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Youth Volunteer Corps Jessica J. Service Center for Independent Living – Claremont, CA

My name is Tangikina, 26 years old and I live in Long Beach, CA. I currently attend Long Beach City College and I am working towards getting my degree in Human Services with goals of becoming a counselor to show, As a young woman living with an acquired TBI, I live my disabled life to show not just tell that life is possible no matter the circumstances you're dealt with. There is no one to prove anything to other than myself. Living confidently in my own shoes and being proud of the person that I have become, I am disabled and proud, ready to make a difference through YO!

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Tangikina

Youth Volunteer Corps Tangikina M. Disabled Resources Center – Long Beach, CA

Hi there! My name is Jon Drennan, and I am the YO Volunteer at the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center. I am working towards my Masters in Social Work at San Jose State University. I also work part-time at the San Andreas Regional Center and the City of San Jose. My goal is to help youth with disabilities reach their full potential.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Jon

Youth Volunteer Corps Jon D. California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA

My name is Megan. I am currently attending American River College and preparing to transfer to Sacramento State University to study Health Science. I have a strong interest working in the healthcare field helping people to the best of my ability. I also want to help the youth with mental disabilities (like myself). I have noticed over the years that there is a lot of judgment and disrespect for those with a mental disability and I want to try to stop that, or at least put the word out. It has been very difficult trying to achieve my dreams while hiding from judgment and I'm sure there are others suffering from the same problem. I am currently learning that it is okay to have a mental disability and not everyone needs to know about it.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Megan

Youth Volunteer Corps Megan California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA

Hello my name is Jeffrey, I live in Fresno and I attend California State University, Fresno where I major in Political Science. My goal for the future is politics where I want to begin work locally and branch out from there. I first heard about YO! Disabled & Proud when I attended Youth Leadership Forum in Sacramento a few years ago. At that point, I knew I wanted to volunteer with YO!, because I enjoy meeting new people. Being involved with the organization will allow me to continue to learn and experience more community opportunities that will further my career goal. In my free time I enjoy reading and studying American history, watching movies, playing video games, hanging out with friends and volunteering. I hope through my internship with YO! That I will educate young people about the organization and encourage them to become an advocate for people with disabilities.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Jeffrey

Youth Volunteer Corps Jeffrey M. Resources for Independence, Central Valley – Fresno, CA

Hello there! My name is Leanne. I currently reside in Orange County. I am a first-year student at my local community college. After I complete my general education, I plan to transfer out-of-state and pursue in special education. I first found out about YO! while attending YLF (Youth Leadership Forum for Students with Disabilities), and I always wanted to volunteer. Now that I have the chance, I hope that I make an impact within the community and create a better, more inclusive place for the disabled community. My main goal is to become a better leader and to continually embrace both the disabled and autistic community and culture.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Leanne

Youth Volunteer Corps Leanne L. Dayle Macintosh Center – Anaheim, CA

Hi, my name is Matthew Henderson. I was born and raised in Sacramento. I still live in Sacramento. I graduated from Sacramento City College with my Business certificate. My favorite hobbies are bike riding, running, watching movies, playing video games and hanging out with my friends. I have a history of volunteering for a variety of disability specific organizations. I started volunteering for YO! because I like helping to support young people with disabilities to have their independence and know there rights. I am looking forward to working with YO!

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Matthew

Youth Volunteer Corps Matthew H. California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA

My name is Chelsea. I was born and raised in Orange County and have moved to northern California 5 years ago for my education at UC Davis. Although I have a Bachelors in Agricultural Education, I have decided to switch paths and get a certificate in web page development at the Los Rios district. On the side of my career plan, I always try to make time for disability advocacy. I have been a passionate autistic rights activist for 10 years. Having been diagnosed before "autism acceptance" was a thing, I have received a lot of misguided advice in the name of "help". I will do anything to make sure that all disabled youth are given better options to find in their community, rather than be forced into conformity "for their own good."

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Chelsea

Youth Volunteer Corps Chelsea B. California Foundation for Independent Living Centers – Sacramento, CA

Hello. My name is Justin. I have lived in Fresno the past 2 years. I originally lived in New York for 14 years, then North Carolina for two years. Since I have lived in three different states, I have had the opportunity to visit several famous places, such as Niagara Falls, Disney, and Mount Rushmore, as well as the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. I enjoy gaming, sports and working with computers. I like to play Pokemon on the weekends. One of my goals is to take college classes to help me obtain a job in the computer and/or electronics field. I have autism and enjoy helping others, which is one of the reasons I am excited to be a part of YO.

Photo of YO! Volunteer Corps member Justin

Youth Volunteer Corps Justin S. Resources for Independence, Central Valley – Fresno, CA

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