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Igniting Action - FYA's 2018 Leaders for Change Conference

Posted on January 15, 2019



90 young leaders representing 20 grassroots groups from 16 states and provinces converged in Beautiful Monterey California for FYA’s 8th Annual Leaders for Change Conference.  Thanks to the generous support of more than 30 sponsors and donors, Leaders for Change 2018 was the best yet.

For people like young people Kiera, a foster youth leader from Indiana, this was conference was the first, ever! As Kiera tells it,

The conference was so empowering and it put me in a space where I encountered like-minded people and leaders who cared about the same issues I did. Hearing from other leaders and groups and how they found solutions to these problems was so inspiring!
Reps from Cali and New Mexico share action plans

More seasoned young organizers were in attendance too, many facilitating workshops, leading what we call “Ignite Talks”, or acting as ambassadors and guidance for less experienced leaders.  Jayneanne, a young adult organizer from Denver had a different, but no less powerful experience in her role. Let’s hear it straight from her:

L4C has such an immense impact on me. I was able to represent myself and my group in ways that allowed me to use everything I have learned about myself as a growing person and a youth organizer over the last year and a half. Our FYA community has a way of creating space for anyone and everyone to have moments of self-discovery, unlike any cohort or organizations I’ll ever see. As a group sometimes in youth-organizing, it can be difficult to actually see the impact that we are making- things take time, and we can have such a focus of reaching our goal that sometimes we miss our little successes along the way; and L4C gave us a spotlight to take a moment and celebrate our accomplishments! The healing and the community itself are the experiences that highlight my L4C adventures this fall. The way everyone comes together is unreal and hard to explain until you see it first-hand. I am planning to use what I have learned in my new role as a core organizer and in my day to day life.
Just some of the powerful youth leaders attending this year!

For FYA - L4C is not just about the experience, but the take aways and how it inspires and informs change back home.  A full 96% percent of youth and young adult leaders said they were more motivated to make a change because of L4C, and believed their group was more equipped to do so as a result of their attendance.  Gillian, a young leader from Nebraska, makes it personal…

Seeing how brave everyone was inspired me to be brave and stand up too. I feel like my faith in [my group] was watered like a plant after the spotlights and workshops. [Before L4C] I felt like I wasn't important or needed in my leadership group, but when I heard New Mexico’s accomplishment and some other helpful programs from the states my faith was restored. I also reached out to our head supporter and plan to be a part of statewide meetings again. I want to use some different creative campaigning that were introduced by [Vancouver, BC’s Fostering Change] workshop because it seemed to be great for them. Their attitude and dedication really surprised me. All in all I carry the experience I had [at L4C]  in my heart now wherever I go.
100% of adult allies say L4C is a great
professional development opportunity!

Want to learn more about the conference, read more stories, and see the impact we had? Go HERE for a full color report.  Finally, go below to hear how L4C impacted Shane, one of Minnesota's incredible young leaders, and Atyia, the chair of the statewide powerhouse, Florida Youth Shine.