RAWK Spotlight: Youth Advisory Council

For the month of February, we are shining the RAWK Spotlight on

RAWK’s Youth Advisory Council

The RAWK Spotlight is a monthly series that celebrates folx who embody and serve the mission of empowering youth voices. Folx in the RAWK Spotlight can be anyone from staff, to volunteers, to Board Members, to community partners. They are chosen by the RAWK staff team by merit of their passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for serving local youth and their community!

Members of the Youth Advisory Council (left to right): 

Naylah Lewis, Giuliana Bush, Alaina Suarez, Masha Canfield, Jahleel Fisher, Bjorn Nelson (not pictured), Janeya Willis (not pictured)

Keep reading to hear from our community members and RAWK staff team about their work at RAWK!

“I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to work with RAWK and be on the Youth Advisory Council. I get to connect with youth my age with the same goal of making our community better. I always look forward to the meetings and I can’t wait to see what we do next.” –Masha Canfield, age 14

“I love being a part of the Youth Advisory Council because it allows my thoughts and voice to be heard by adults and youth in the community allowing us to make a positive change!” –Jahleel Fisher, age 13

“I saw this quote [below] and it made me think of RAWK and the YAC. Just because of how much of a safe space RAWK is for everyone and how the goal is to encourage youth voices.” –Alaina Suarez, age 14

“If you are waiting for someone else to end injustice.
And I’m waiting.
And she is waiting.
And he is waiting.
It will never end.
Use your voice.”
–Alison Malee

Hear what our community members have to say about the Youth Advisory Council:

The young people of the Youth Advisory Council have been instrumental to RAWK as an organization that exists to serve youth and their voices. They have made incredible progress on developing our storefront & Literacy Center, and have also planned & implemented events like the Youth Entrepreneur Pop Up Shops & our annual RAWK Reads party. I also deeply appreciate their feedback and openness to working with me and JaMeelah in developing a land & labor acknowledgment for RAWK, ensuring that our language and approach is accessible to young people. Every time I hear updates about the YAC or get to work with them in any capacity, I am blown away by their professionalism, insight, & wisdom. They are truly RAWKstars, and LEADERS in our community.

Ynika Yuag (Engagement Coordinator)

I’m impressed by the depth of RAWK YAC engagement in our program development and planning. They are a committed and engaged group and serve a great example of youth insight and voice put to action. They even used well constructed survey research to inform their recommendations – how cool is that?!

Bridget Timmeney

It has been such a joy to work with these amazing youth! Their innovative ideas, hopeful spirits, and positive energy keep continue to pour into my cup expand my capacity for this work. The future looks BRIGHT!

Kandace Lavender

They are talented Youth striving in our community with their voices.

Amy Hall (Program Coordinator)

I continue to be impressed and inspired by the thoughtful leadership of the RAWK Youth Advisory Council members. Their intentional engagement has and will continue to shape the growth of RAWK programs as well as how RAWK shows up in and for our community. I’m very excited to see how these incredible young people continue to grow together and as individuals. I have no doubt each of them will shape beautiful change at RAWK and beyond. THANK YOU ALL for sharing your time, energy, and heart with us.