Topics of Advocacy
1. Police Reform
Mentors: Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas, Ed.D. Consultant and Author of Identity Safe Classrooms, Places to Belong and Learn, and Former Director of Not In Our School National Bullying Prevention Program, Former Superintendent, Luther Burbank School District;
The police reform advocacy group will provide students with the opportunity to study the issues that exist with our current models and systems of policing, as well as write and advocate for legislation that would seek to address some of those problems. Some of the solutions we would be working on include independent review boards/CRBs, reallocation of funds towards other sectors, a well-defined force continuum, and other ideas that students may bring to the table. Working alongside other students and adults from organizations at local, state and national levels, students will work to fix our broken policing system and create a reformed and safe future.
2. Prop 16 (Affirmative Action)
Mentors: Eleanor Yick, former Superintendent of Mountain View Whisman School District and current President of the League of Women Voters - Southwest Santa Clara Valley- covering the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga
The Prop 16 advocacy group gives students the opportunity to learn more about affirmative action: its history and impact. Students will research the issue and advocate for/against the legislation that would change California's Constitution and impact public education and public employment policies and practices. Working alongside peers and adults from many organizations, students will build a framework of arguments for/against Prop 16 and reach out through social media, email, or other platforms to inform citizens about Prop 16’s importance..
3. Environment (Lehigh Cement Plant)
Mentors: Rhoda Fry, Bay Area for Clean Environment member, Cupertino Environmental Review Committee, appointed member emeritus. B. S. Applied Mathematics / Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University, CFO Wm. H. Fry Construction Company
Environmental advocacy is notoriously difficult, but what does it really entail? Join the environment advocacy group for a thorough understanding. By following the case study of Lehigh Cement Plant’s mining operations in the Bay Area, students will learn about the many obstacles to effective advocacy, as well as the different fields that intersect on this topic. This one mining operation will cover public health, global warming, air and water quality, traffic, land use, and labor union concerns. Moreover, the plant’s operations will affect the landscapes and recreational activities of the Bay Area for generations. Mentors will equip students with what's needed to become environmental advocates, including understanding local issues, accessing California environmental data, and what avenues to utilize when pushing for policy change. Take this chance to make a material difference in the Bay Area!
4. COVID-19 Education & Economical Impacts
Mentors: George Yang, Chair of Sister City Committee of Menlo Park; Gopal Kumarappan, Cupertino Parks & Rec Commissioner, former Library Commissioner & Chair, Head of Engineering (Document Cloud) @ Adobe
As schools and businesses look to reopen in the coming weeks and months, issues of public health have remained front and center. The COVID-19 Education and Economics YAPA advocacy group will work to analyze local and national issues regarding the political, economic, and educational effects of the current pandemic on the lives of community members. The group will analyze specific solutions based on the historical precedent and effectiveness of each method, working alongside experienced mentors while maintaining a student-driven approach to advocacy. Subtopics that will be covered in study include, but are not limited to, how to go about economically reopening and providing equitable access to school education in the current situation
5. Healthcare & Equity
Mentors: Ana Sucaldito, MPH, Program Coordinator for Asian Festival Health and Wellness Internship, Founder of KindCarts Service Initiative; Dr. Albert Wang, MD, Internist and Board of Directors at Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, Vice Chair of National Governing Board of Asian Pacific American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Founder of Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN)
The COVID-19 advocacy group will guide interested students as they research the current political, socioeconomic, and public health crisis we are facing, both on the local and national level, and work to draft specific solutions to some of the issues it has caused. The group will analyze specific solutions based on the historical precedent and effectiveness of each method, working alongside experienced mentors while maintaining a student-driven approach to advocacy. In this group, we will focus on addressing issues of unfair health care access, the disproportionate burden of risk factors on vulnerable groups, and the policies meant to mitigate these disparities.
6. Mental Health
Mentors: Hung Wei, former Board Member of Fremont Union High School District, 2020-2021 Rotary District 5170 Membership Chair; Dr. Clifton Der Bing, licensed psychologist, campus psychologist at Foothill College
With everything changing around us, how can we ensure that our communities maintain wellness? The mental health advocacy group will help students understand how wellness policies are implemented and their effects. Specifically, this group aims to tackle the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on community wellbeing, including but not limited to distance learning quality, maintaining normalcy through extracurriculars, increase in domestic issues, and repercussions of social isolation. Students will discuss the importance of wellness in daily life and draft ideas for specific issues they care about. Ultimately, this group will empower students to bring these proposals to school boards and education committees, positively affecting their communities.
former Board Member of Fremont Union High School District, 2020-2021 Rotary District 5170 Membership Chair
Hung Wei came to the States in 1979 and received a Master’s Degree in Teaching English as A Second Language. Hung volunteered in many school activities and took leadership roles as PTA President, School SiteCouncil member, event chairs, and fundraising chairs. She served as a School Board Member and past School Board President with Fremont Union High School District from 2008 to 2018, serving 11,000+ students and parents from five high schools. Her community involvement includes many important roles for Boards in different communities, including Northwest YMCA, Fremont Union High Schools Foundation, Asian American Parent Association, EMQ Auxiliary werving Uplift Family Services, Quota International Cupertino, the League of Women Voters Cupertino-Sunnyvale, the Rotary of Cupertino, Cupertino Rotary and Rotary District 5170.
Program Coordinator for Asian Festival Health and Wellness Internship, Founder of KindCarts Service Initiative
My name is Ana Sucaldito, a Filipina-American living in Columbus, Ohio. I'm passionate about addressing health inequities (or injust health disparities) impacting minority groups such as racial and ethnic minorities and immigrants and recently graduated with my Bachelors and Masters in Public health. I started getting delving deeper into advocacy in graduate school and some of my past work has included helping to organize community health education sessions, legislative visits and and serving on the expert panel advising Ohio's governor and Department of Health on COVID-19 policies and funding for vulnerable populations. Other interests of mine include bullet journaling, cooking, and playing DnD and I'm excited to meet everyone at the August Kick-off!
former Superintendent of Mountain View Whisman School District and current President of the League of Women Voters - Southwest Santa Clara Valley- covering the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga
Retired school administrator. Spent 20 years as a classroom teacher and 22 years in school administration ending her career as superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District. After retirement, became active in the League of Women Voters of Southwest Santa Clara Valley, which covers the cities of Campbell, Los Gatos, Monte Sereno and Saratoga, She is currently serving her third term as president of the LWV SWSCV and her favorite League activity is presenting Pros and Cons on the ballot issues. The California November 2020 election has 12 measures on the ballot and one of the most controversial is Proposition 16, which would reintroduce "affirmative action" in hiring practices and policies in California.
Bay Area for Clean Environment member, Cupertino Environmental Review Committee, appointed member emeritus. B. S. Applied Mathematics / Computer Science Carnegie Mellon University, CFO Wm. H. Fry Construction Company
In 2009, Rhoda Fry joined like-minded citizens to compel regulatory agencies to achieve compliance and to develop regulations that better protected human health and the environment at the Lehigh Hanson cement plant and quarry. In 1983, Rhoda graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University with a B. S. in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. She worked at Tandem Computers and Sun Microsystems until the birth of her son in 2002. Since 1988, she has been co-owner an award-winning home remodeling and new home construction firm that provides informed choices for healthy, energy- and resource-efficient homes. For over 30 years, Rhoda has been active in local issues including improving Cupertino's green-building codes to combat global warming and has served as an appointed member of the City of Cupertino Environmental Review Committee.
Dr. Albert Wang, MD
Internist and Board of Directors at Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group, Vice Chair of National Governing Board of Asian Pacific American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Founder of Friends of Children with Special Needs (FCSN)
Dr. Albert Wang was born in Taiwan and came to the US at the age of 14. He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley with a BS in Biochemistry, and MD from UC San Diego, and currently serves as the Director and immediate past Chair of the Board of Directors for the 1600-doctor strong Palo Alto Foundation Medical Group.
Dr. Wang has been heavily involved in community service. He has served as President of the American Cancer Society, Northern California Chinese Unit and Board member of ACS California Division. He and his wife Anna were founders of Friends of Children with Special Needs, a full-service charity serving the needs of largely Chinese American immigrant families with special needs children. In addition, he has been involved in civil rights and civic empowerment organizations and is currently the National Vice Chair of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA), Chair of APAPA Bay Area Region, as well as President of the Asian American for Good Government Political Action Committee.
For his long history of community service, Dr. Wang was honored with the American Cancer Society Silicon Valley Region Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award, “A League of Their Own” award from the Fremont Education Foundation, KQED Disability Culture Award, California State Assembly Outstanding Leader Award, World Journal Community Hero Award, and Best Doctor in the Tri-City Area by the Tri-City Voice Newspaper, among others.
Dr. Becki Cohn-Vargas
Ed.D. Consultant and Author of Identity Safe Classrooms, Places to Belong and Learn, and Former Director of Not In Our School National Bullying Prevention Program, Former Superintendent, Luther Burbank School District
Chair of Sister City Committee of Menlo Park
Cupertino Parks & Rec Commissioner, former Library Commissioner & Chair, Head of Engineering (Document Cloud)" @ Adobe.“
Gopal is an enterprise software executive currently leading the document cloud engineering division for Adobe. Prior to Adobe, he worked in major companies like Netscape, Sun Microsystems, Oracle America Inc,, and Cisco systems. His passion in helping the community led him to play key roles in the school system and the city he lives in now. He has been teaching pre-school kids, one the indian languages (Tamil) through a weekend school system and associated with that school for the last 18 years.
With deep interest in the education track, Gopal has taken lead roles in the school district, school PTSA and many advisory boards to help the students, teachers and parent community. He is an active board member of Cupertino LIbrary Foundation and builds a collaborative environment among our library ecosystems. As a chair for the Park & Rec Commission for the city of Cupertino, Gopal is helping the city's strategic goals to become reality.
Gopal loves dogs and photography is his passion.
Dr. Clifton M. Der Bing, PsyD.
licensed psychologist, campus psychologist at Foothill College
As a licensed psychologist, Dr. Clifton M. Der Bing provides supportive mental health services to culturally diverse individuals. In particular, he integrates holistic wellness principles, especially when working with API youth. He enjoys empowering students to overcome life difficulties throug h the development of healthy coping techniques that enhance mindful wellness. He is a frequent guest speaker at fora and workshops on mental health hosted by various Bay Area non-profit organizations. Dr. Der Bing owns his own practice, Wellness Ways Center, and serves as the campus Psychologist at Foothill College.