YLA reaches half-way mark
Future leaders continue to learn about regional issues


The Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) is officially at its half-way point. Over the last three months, students have learned about civic engagement, planning, and transportation, with several more topics and final projects still in store. To date, students have visited downtown Sacramento, Rocklin, Davis, and Woodland.

Both sessions have led to great discussions amongst the students who continue to show their eagerness to learn, develop their skills, and take part in how their communities evolve. The second training welcomed various speakers, including SACOG Director/Rocklin Councilmember Jill Gayaldo, Assemblymember Kevin Kiley, Los Angeles based Urban Planner James Rojas, and Rocklin Parks and Recreation Manager Sarah Novo. Students learned about the rich history and bright future of Rocklin, had a lively debate about the past and present bills, and participated in Rojas’ Place It! workshop.  The Place It! workshop which allowed students to tap into their creative side and encouraged them to create an interactive planning experience as they recreated a favorite childhood memory and used it to further create an ideal community using ordinary objects and craft supplies. Students were able to see a real and recent planning project for the city, Quarry Park, and discussed the development process and how it has been a catalyst for development in the area, helping advance Rocklin’s economic development and create a space for all people to enjoy.  

The third training welcomed Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, SACOG Vice Chair/Davis Councilmember Lucas Frerichs, Davis Mayor Pro Tem Gloria Partida, Davis Mayor Brett Lee, and a panel of transportation professionals. The training focused on transportation and mobility, and students were encouraged to think about their own mobility options and how transportation has an impact on the daily goods that we all use. The transportation panel included Kacey Lizon, SACOG Deputy Executive Director of Planning and Programs; Leslie Mancebo, City of Sacramento Transportation Program Analyst; and Russell Rawlings, Resources for Independent Living Director of Advocacy. The panelists described their career backgrounds, exciting developments in transportation, and future challenges. Students also took a field trip to the Pacific Coast Producer’s Woodland Tomato Plant where they learned about the local agriculture industry and its relationship to transportation.

Students will continue to learn about different topics that SACOG deals with at an agency and policy level and will also spend time working on their YLA Civic Lab projects through the end of June 2019. The next YLA session is scheduled for April 23.