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YAPA presents

for high school & college students

About the Camp/Summer Session

Anchor 1

Learn from the Best: Discover the Secrets to Effective Policy Advocacy


YAPA Changemakers camp will equip you with the skills, knowledge, and legislative literacy to be effective advocates, while having fun collaborating with other students with similar interests! Meet real policy makers, work on projects and make connections with influencers. 


Besides interacting with all these inspiring guest speakers (link to guest speaker list), YAPA Changemakers summer session include lessons on 

  • Policymaking as science

  • Local to state government functions and roles

  • The role of data science in policymaking

  • The role of data science in campaigning

  • Unintended consequences in policymaking

  • Viewpoint diversity and negotiation in policymaking


You will also work on a group project, which might focus on data analysis, effective writing, or campaigning on some selected issues. The 2-week summer session will end with a group presentation and award ceremony with a panel of elected officials.


Meet the speakers:

  • Policymakers

  • Tech Policy Researcher

  • Policy Analysts

  • Opinion-Page Editors

  • TV Reporter

  • Lobbyists

  • Campaign Strategists

  • Nonprofit Founders

  • Grassroots Organizers

Daily Schedule and Description

Effective Policymaking will cover the essence of social science and how to analyze the effectiveness of government policies. How do we know if a policy is effective if we can’t run a controlled experiment? What are the various biases that can affect our analysis of data? 


How Government Works is a class on the basics of state and local government, which you will rarely learn about in school. What do counties and city governments do? How are they run? Who should we talk to when we have a complaint? What career opportunities are in government? 


Effective Communication and Campaigning teaches the essential public speaking and writing skills to convince everyday voters to support their policy. How do we write opinion pieces in a way that are convincing and analytical, yet simple to understand? How do we learn to be more confident while public speaking? 

The Role of Data In Policymaking allows students to understand economic analyses and studies to know what to advocate for. What are p-values? How can we know if a relationship is certain? This class is purely conceptual and will not require any background in math. 


Effective Messaging and Grassroots Organizing teaches the essentials in campaign messaging to resonate with your audience, how to gain more grassroots support and organize and motivate volunteers.


Group A will learn about the math needed to run their own studies in the Data Science course. Using simple tools like Desmos, we will learn about hypothesis testing, confidence intervals, and other statistical tools needed to critically analyze data to shape public policy.

Group B will focus more on effective messaging and campaign through presentation or infographics.


Guest Speakers and Panelists


Tom Campbell, former Congressman, former State Senator, former dean of UC Berkeley Hass business school (

Jennifer Richmond, International policy strategist & business development, Founder of Truth In Between (

Bill James, Santa Clara County Democratic Party Chairman

Tom Pyke, District Director for Ro Khanna, attorney

Paul Steenhausen, Principal Fiscal & Policy Analyst in the California Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO) (

Richard Konda, Executive Director of Asian Law Alliance (

Ed Clendaniel, Editorial Page Editor, Mercury News (

Christopher Reed, the deputy editorial and opinion editor of The San Diego Union-Tribune (

David Louie, business editor and tech reporter, ABC News (

Chris LeGras, semi-retired attorney, legislative analyst (lobbyist)

Gurbir Singh, UC Berkeley Citris Policy Lab (


Dylan Lee, Senior at Columbia University (

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