Blogs

Flint Center Study Group

Group Members: Angela Sun, Bennie Chang, Esther Luan, Angelica Wang

Group Liaison: Angela Sun

Article Contributor: Esther Luan

Mentor: Sudha Kasamsetty

In June 2019, the Board Trustees of De Anza-Foothill Community College voted to close down Flint Center, the biggest performing arts center in Cupertino and a historical and cultural venue. The center is now at risk of being torn down for other purposes, most notably housing. Under the guidance of mentor Sudha Kasamsetty, the YAPA Flint Center group has been advocating for the Flint Center. We believe that Flint Center must be kept because it is an essential part of the community and Cupertino’s history, as well as an important venue for many performing arts programs and orchestras. We have done extensive research on centers around America similar in size and utility to Flint, studying more profitable ways to manage the center as well as ways to offset the cost of renovation. We have also spoken to two of five board trustees and offered our opinion and perspective as to why the center should be kept. As a result of community support akin to our work, the school board has decided to halt demolition processes for the time being and listen for more community input. We hope to find the most viable and beneficial solution for everyone: musicians, performers, and necessity for more housing.

Housing Study Group

Group Members: Arvind Jagdish, N Wang, Philip Chiu, Andrew Lu, Nicholas Yi, Kevin Chang, Abhinav Kommula, Connie Liang, Albert Tam

Article Contributor: N Wang

Mentor: Michael Goldman

Under the guidance of Sunnyvale City Councilman Michael Goldman, the YAPA Housing group has researched the housing situation of California and the Bay Area in order to understand the factors of the problem as well as suggest possible solutions. Teaching both research methods as well as usage of public databases, Councilman Goldman has enabled the group to examine the housing situation of different cities in different subgroups. Using OnTheMap, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Database, Census Business Builder, and other public information, members studied the hard data, presented their findings, and proposed solutions to mitigate the ever-growing prices of real estate in California. Ultimately, the group hopes to advocate for increasing the supply of housing in the Bay Area with methods such as establishing more efficient transportation systems to compare with other large cities such as New York City.

Mental Health Study Group

Group Members: Philip Chiu, Nelson Mu, Esther Luan, Angelica Wang, Wendy Song, Olivia Song, Alex Liu, Michael Sher, Maggie Dong

Group Liaison: Philip Chiu

Article Contributor: Philip Chiu

Mentors: Trudy Gross and Hung Wei

Throughout the past ten weeks, the YAPA Mental Health study group has done so much, thanks to Trudy Gross, Hung Wei, and all of our meeting speakers from El Camino Hospital, Uplift Family Services, the Evan Low Committee, and from the FUHSD board. The study group has done so much, from analyzing current mental health policies to advocating for ones that they have come up with. The group consists of members from Cupertino, Los Altos, and even from North Hills, LA. The mental health study group’s final goal is to maximize awareness of the effective programs that are already in highschools and propose a curriculum that would better inform students of the importance and complexity of mental health. As for community involvement, eliminating the negative stigma of mental health being a sensitive topic that is usually avoided would help students be more open to others about their mental health. 

Tobacco Study Group

Group Members: Alyssa Yao, Olivia Song, Daphne He, Tiana Zhou

Group Liaison: Alyssa Yao

Article Contributor: Alyssa Yao

Mentors: Rosalyn Moya, Owen Wise-Pierik, Don Tran, Tanya Payyappilly

Dedicating their time to YAPA’s E-cigarette study group, Rosalyn Moya, Owen Wise-Pierik, Don Tran, Tanya Payyappilly, Bay Area Community Resources, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and Breathe California of the Bay Area all supported and guided the students of this study group. The group was able to accomplish many tasks such as research the negative impacts of tobacco use, analyze marketing strategies of the tobacco industry, and discuss past, present, and future solutions to decrease the likelihood of youth getting addicted to nicotine through the enforcement of policies. During the ten-week program, the group has held a meeting with Cupertino Vice Mayor Chao regarding the issues relating to flavored tobacco products, drugs targeted to the youth which preceded to a postcard mailed to Cupertino residents informing them of community meetings to spread awareness of the rising problem of vaping in minors. The e-cigarette study group’s main goal is to educate the public about the harms of using tobacco products and how they can assist the youth in staying clean and safe. 

Environment Study Group

Group Members: Anita Chamraj, Michelle Chen, Rachel Chen, Connie Liang, Henry Shi, Arya Srivastava

Group Liaison: Rachel Chen

Article Contributor: Anita Chamraj

Mentor: Rhoda Fry and Rene Williams

With the guidance of Rhoda Fry and Rene Williams, the YAPA Environment study group has been able to learn about local polluters as well as learn how to use public policy in order to make a positive impact on the local community. Throughout the ten weeks, the group was able to use tools, such as the CARB Pollution Mapping Tool, to look at the greenhouse gas emissions from major polluters across the Bay Area. Fry and Williams also utilized government websites like the EPA, BAAQMD, CARB, and SWRCB in order to help with research. The main focus of the group was to research more about Lehigh-Hanson, a cement plant located near Rancho San Antonio. Through research, the group was able to find in what ways Lehigh-Hanson disrupts the environment, and that Lehigh-Hanson will continue to reak havoc on the local community if it is allowed to expand. With this research, the group members were able to speak at city council meetings and a board of supervisors meeting over the summer. The Yapa Environment Group group is very grateful to have had a chance to work on their public policy skills and have many future plans, such as writing petitions and spreading more knowledge about Lehigh’s impact on the environment.      

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