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Alyssa Yao

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12 th Grade 

Cupertino High School

Joined 2019 Fall Cohort

What is your favorite thing about advocacy? 

When the society suffers from injustices, advocacy represents the potential of a safer environment for all sentient beings. Through educating and interacting with the public to serve as an ally to victims and those who are taken advantage of, I, as an advocate, can be a voice for the voiceless and contribute to a resolution.  My advocacy work is fulfilling because it gives me an opportunity to make an impact on one's mindset and possibly alter one's actions to act more ethically towards others.

What have you learned from YAPA?

Of course, it is necessary for an effective advocate to be passionate about the topics that are being addressed. YAPA taught me that an influential advocate must also be strategic and well-connected. Over the last two cohorts, YAPA has taught me how to lead study groups and step outside my public speaking comfort-zone, as well as connected me with wonderful mentors (who are professionals in their respective fields) and city officials to discuss my study-topic-specific policies and encourage community changes to be made.

Any other comments you’d like to share?

YAPA consecutively offers relevant, exciting study topics to choose from. I am always pleasantly surprised to see the topics available, and do not regret selecting interesting issues such as tobacco & e-cig access to youth and Proposition 16 to study and advocate solutions for. I am looking forward to the next cohort's various study topics!

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