Youth Leadership

The APSARA youth leadership builds the capacity of our youth to heal and transform their community by creating a culture of inspiration and safety. Through peer and adult mentoring, youth organizing, training, emergent learning through youth-led activism, and exposure to possibilities that inspire them, youth will build the emotional intelligence, skills, and inspiration to translate their deepest values and passions into economically sustainable projects and organizations which serve as a joyful alternative to substance use addiction.

We aim to transform the way that self-worth and community worth are developed for these youth by empowering them to speak honestly about their pain, to be able to understand the pain of their community are symptoms of history and system of oppression, and to describe that system and its effects such as addiction, and to see themselves and each other with possibility and hope as they work toward their goals.

Our systems change goal is to create a small-scale example of radical change, where youth can create new projects and organizations which affirm their lives and the lives of their community. Our example will scale through community inspiration and support of the youth’s organizing. When we are successful, youth will experience high self-esteem, resilience, commitment to social justice, and a firm understanding that they can make a sustainable livelihood by following their passions and values and working cooperatively. Youth will be immersed in a highly supportive community of joyful alternatives to substance use and other forms of violence.

Program Information:
Chea Anthony Chen
(209) 487-3309 –

Evan Daniel Haynes
(209) 487-2244 –

Supported by:
Sierra Foundation – The Center – San Joaquin Valley Health Fund