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Youth Voice

Youth Advisory CouncilFLY Alumni Advisory BoardYouth-Leadership Council Youth Stories

FLY is guided by the voices of our youth and sees them as experts regarding their own experiences. By partnering with our youth, we are a more accountable and effective organization. Youth voice informs and influences our values, our model, and our vision for justice.

Youth Advisory Council

The Youth Advisory Council (YAC) is a council of young people ages 17-25 who are system impacted and advocate for changes in the carceral system. We work alongside Probation to change policies and procedures that affect currently incarcerated youth. The YAC empowers youth to share their stories and inspire change within the Juvenile Justice System, while also fostering professional development and leadership skills among its members.

The mission of the Youth Advisory Council is to improve our communities for young people by:

Group of FLY participants sitting on a couch together
Honoring Diversity

Creating a space that honors diversity and lived experiences of young people and harness that power to improve systems.

Person giving a speech in front of an orange banner
Elevating Youth Voices

Elevating youth voices throughout the community to ensure their input impacts the Juvenile Justice System from every angle.

Teenager sitting at a table talking into a microphone
Positively Changing Young People

Using lived experiences and research based approaches to positively change young people directly.


Since the launch of YAC, the members have already made vital changes to the Probation Department and have gained national attention:

YAC developed an orientation for youth newly on probation and their families to share information they need to be successful on probation. YAC now hosts regular orientations for these youth.

The Probation Department has incorporated a YAC presentation and panel into all core trainings for new probation officers to help them build stronger rapport with the youth on their caseloads.

Backside view of a person wearing a shirt that says YAC on it with an illustration of a yak type creature
Group of kids riding a horse walking towards the camera

A YAC representative is an active member of the City of San Jose’s Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force.

The YAC Justice Consultants facilitated a workshop at San Jose’s Gang and Crime Prevention Summit on the risks for system involvement related to social media.

FLY’s YAC Past President, Miracle Te’o, was invited to join the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s national Youth Advisory Council and represents youth across the nation in this important role.

Contact for more information

Santa Clara County

Tatiana Quintanilla, Youth Voice Coach
(669) 666-0074

Alameda County

Jessica Peregrina , YAC Manager
(510) 890-1344

Young woman speaking to a crowd

FLY helped me find my voice. It was my first opportunity to have a platform and it changed the way I saw myself. It’s the best thing that ever happened to me.

FLY Participant

FLY Alumni Advisory Board

Three speakers sitting on chairs listening to someone speak

FLY Alumni Advisory Board (FAAB) is a group made up of FLY alumni from all of our communities, where we offer direct service programming. These young people provide input to FLY related to organizational effectiveness (i.e., how we run the organization) and systems change (i.e., how we advocate for young people impacted by the justice system).

Young people who participate in FAAB gain valuable professional development and coaching that is geared toward supporting them in achieving their goals.

Youth leadership Council

The Oakland Public Safety Youth Leadership Council (YLC) invests in youth leadership to keep our community safe. Youth engage the community and educate decision makers on root causes of violence, while elevating youth voices to influence and impact public safety systems, practices, and policies to transform our community.

The Council is made up of a cohort of Oakland youth ages 14-21 and takes place over a 12 month council term. Youth who have been impacted by violence, the juvenile justice system, and homelessness will be prioritized to join the council. Council members will receive stipends for all of their work in which they will meet bi weekly for Council meetings and will engage in weekly activities as liaisons to various Oakland Public Safety Departments. To support the youth’s leadership, youth will receive both training and coaching throughout their term. Youths’ council work will be determined by priorities set by youth and will align with community needs and partnership opportunities.


From the start of YLC’s formation, the Council has been meeting regularly since January 2018 and have gained many accomplishments over the years:

December 13, 2022, YLC youth council members spoke at the school board meeting to support the approval of $350K for strategic planning dollars for the CTE Hub. The YLC council members were also interviewed for the Oaklandside article.

December 20, 2022 YLC youth council members wrote and spoke at the Oakland City Council meeting to stop a policy that would target people who have a record of participating in and organizing sideshows.

The YLC participated in the hiring process for the next Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) and the next Chief of Police. The YLC created questions for the interviews focused on youth public safety and key youth priorities. This is the first time a youth body has represented youth voices at this level.

Contact for more information

alameda county

Jackie Kelsaw-Palma, Lead Youth Voice Coach
(510) 641-6051

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