My name is Gaby and I joined YES Institute to join a community in which I would be acknowledged, and accepted for who I am. Since my first activity at YES, I have felt like I have joined an inclusive and supportive family. I want to make a difference and participating in the Youth Advisory Leadership Council, really makes me feel like I am truly working to make that a possibility. I can’t wait to see where my participation in the YALC takes me.
My name is Ryan Canning. I’m 15 years old and I attend Olympic Heights Community High. My pronouns are He/Him/His. I am a transgender male and I love playing drums and all music.
My name is Seth Morales (he, him, his). I am involved with the YES Institute because of my own personal experience. I reached out to them when I was first going through my transition. My parents and I found refuge in the work that YES Institute does, which has helped us to have a stronger familial bond because. To me, the work they do is important and I have grown so much as a person.
My name is Victorino I. Marti. My pronouns are He/Him/His, or Dude. I attend Miami Dade College and have been a long time volunteer speaker for YES Institute. Now being a part of YALC, it is my commitment to not only spread awareness about gender & orientation stigma in schools, homes, and in my neighborhood, but to prevent suicide. I am a support for youth; something I wish I had when I was younger.
My name is Mya Thompson and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am in the 10th grade and I attend Miami Killian. I am bisexual and believe that everyone should have a place where they feel safe being who they are. I decided to join YES Institutes YALC, because I want other to find hope that the youth council can help others find solace and community. I want to be a part of preventing youth suicide.
My name is Alexis Mejer. I’m 19 and attend the Honors College at MDC. I chose to be a member of the Youth Advisory Leadership Council because the work that YES Institute does is crucial and I have personally seen the impact that the work has on families. Seeing the suicide rates for those that struggle with gender and orientation really concerned me and I felt that I had to do my part in preventing youth from turning to self harm. I hope that as a member of YALC, I can work to better the lives of local youth so that they can grow and reach their true potential!
My name is Ana Sofia Heuchert. I’m 19 and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I currently attend the Honors College at MDC. I’m German/Colombian and I moved to the United States with my family when I was seven years old. I started volunteering for the YES Institute and found out about the Youth Advisory Leadership Council and their mission. I’ve always found it so important for youth to be able to learn information and hold discussions about gender and orientation and stop certain stereotypes that can be harmful to youth. As a member of YALC, I strive to address the negative stereotypes and support reduce suicide rates and hold honest dialogues that can help youth be more connected to the community and be at peace with themselves.
My name is Yakira Pinillos Linares. I currently attend International Studies preparatory Academy and I like to be addressed as “she/her/hers”. The reason I am a member of the Youth Advisory Leadership Council is because I care about the youth in my community and helping them feel comfortable with who they are. I think it is important for them to be satisfied and happy with themselves because that is what we all deserve.