Solano High School Students Visit Touro For Leadership Conference

Weeklong event aims to empower local youth with leadership skills

October 20, 2022
High school students take part in an exercise meant to improve communication and teamwork skills during SCOE Leadership Institute.
High school students take part in an exercise meant to improve communication and teamwork skills during SCOE Leadership Institute.

30 Solano County high school students have been accepted to participate in the 2022 Summer Youth Leadership Institute (SYLI), hosted by Solano County Office of Education (SCOE) and Touro University California (TUC) at no cost to the participants. The project was created by TUC and SCOE to inspire the next generation as public health leaders through five days of youth advocacy and leadership development that will be led by experts in the field of youth supports, peer education, public health, and environmental prevention. 

“Every young person possesses the potential to be a great leader. The Summer Youth Leadership Institute provides students an opportunity to build on their skills, advocate for their communities, interact with elected officials and participate in hands-on civics learning,” remarked Solano County Superintendent of Schools, Lisette Estrella-Henderson. “Our partnership with Touro University allows SCOE to amplify our youth advocacy efforts and provide a rich, inclusive and meaningful experience for students.”

“It is fantastic to have local students here on our campus for the Summer Youth Leadership Institute,” said Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, Provost and Chief Executive Officer for Touro University California. “Our ongoing partnership with SCOE aligns with our university mission to serve and is an expansion of our efforts to engage youth throughout Solano County to be agents for positive change.”

The 2022 institute, launching on August 8th, includes a field trip to the State Capitol where students will meet with leaders from agencies like the Governor’s office, California’s departments of Health Care Services and Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Center for Healthy Communities, Assemblywoman Lori Wilson’s office, and others. These meetings provide opportunities to engage with decision makers about issues that affect local communities and help students actively participate in and learn about the process of policy development.

The leadership institute will also focus on health equity and will be based on the principals of Positive Youth Development (PYD) and Youth-led Participatory Action Research (YPAR). YPAR is an innovative approach to positive youth and community development based in social justice principles in which young people are empowered to conduct systemic research to improve communities and institutions intended to serve them. PYD is an intentional, prosocial approach that engages youth within their communities, schools, organizations, social groups, and families in a manner that productively brings about the positive change young leaders work towards.

The Summer Youth Leadership Institute will culminate in a ceremony with participants receiving certificates of completion and certificates of recognition from elected officials at the local, state, and national levels of government.