"This conference is not the place you go to. It was always meant to be the place you go from. And you go from here to imagine something entirely different. Entirely more inclusive. Anchored in unconditional loving kindness and compassionate acceptance." - Father Greg BoyleOn Wednesday, October 28, 2020, well over 300 people gathered from across the country to break down barriers, connect, collaborate, learn, and imagine a better tomorrow at the Youth Empowerment Summit (YES).The day kicked off with a welcome by Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Susan Salcido who then introduced Santa Barbara County's Teacher of the Year, Frank Koroshec. Frank, who is also a foster parent and has adopted three children, moderated a panel of youth. Carlos, Cece, Leo, and Soraya shared about their experiences in homelessness and the foster care system with many important messages to community members, one of them to "Be patient with us. We've been through a lot, and we're trying our best."The morning ended with the keynote address by Homeboy Industries Founder, Father Greg Boyle who spoke about the power of radical kinship. Through his message, attendees learned how compassion, kindness, and kinship are the tools to fight despair and decrease marginalization. Through his stories, we were reminded that no life is more or less valuable than another.During his keynote address, Father Boyle pointed out, "If we don't welcome our own wounds, we may well be tempted to despise the wounded," so free mental health support and self-care activities were available to attendees throughout the day to assist in processing feelings and emotions and welcoming personal wounds. Thank you for the healing provided: Family Service Agency (Lauren Prater Mex, Jessica Spigner); Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley (Shana Pompa); Santa Barbara Response Network (Jina Carvalho, Anthony Rodriguez); and North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center (Lorena Anguiano, Carmen Luna, Alison Wales)In the afternoon, attendees participated in workshops with their peers - students with students, parents with parents, educators with educators, and service providers with other service providers - allowing them to learn about each topic as it related to them. Workshops included trauma-informed practices, how to identify human trafficking, attending college for free and accessing resources, and protecting educational rights. Click here to access the full agenda and resources.Thank you to all the incredible presenters for sharing your expertise and interpreters for helping ensure workshops were accessible to all attendees: Allan Hancock College (Jose Alvarez, Alex Spiess); Alliance for Children's Rights (Alaina Moonves-Leb); CA Department of Education (Janet Abdelsayed, Deborah Avalos Ed.D., Heidi Brahms M.A. Ed, Leanne Wheeler); CALM (Rachel Brewer, Mariana Harms, Jonathan W. Thompson II MA AMFT APCC); CAN DO! (Mishell Carcamo); Family Care Network (Shannon Bell, Raquel Valadez); John Burton Advocates for Youth (Sarah Pauter); PROTECT (Aimee Bonin, Cynthia Cook, Terry Palmer, Amanda Taggart); SELPA (Stephan Salter LMFT); CA Coalition for Youth (Bianca Christian, Jevon Wilkes); Santa Barbara City College (Maureen McRae Goldberg, Christina Lomeli); Santa Barbara County Education Office (Elizabeth Adams, Luz Diaz, Fatima Segura); Santa Barbara Unified School District (Ali Cortes); Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara (Raul Aguilera, Hanali Tapia-Palacios); and interpreters Ana Chaidez, Viviana Marsano, Maritza Ramos de Aviles, and Aliz Ruvalcaba.
Join the Planning Committee!
Intro meeting Wednesday, March 31, 3-4 p.m.
Click here to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get the Zoom linkYouth and parents especially!
Thank You 2020 Planning Committee!
Allan Hancock College Fighting Back Santa Maria Valley Goleta Union School District Hope Elementary School District Lompoc Unified School District Santa Barbara County Department of Social Services Santa Barbara County Education Office Santa Maria Joint Union High School District Santa Maria-Bonita School District Santa Barbara City College Our County Our Kids