Last but not least, meet the Asheville Advocates located in our western North Carolina YES! office. This incredible team of 7 high school students are leading the way with tobacco and substance use prevention, continuing work around real food, and active living, and they are exploring new areas of action around consent education. We can’t wait for you to get to know them a bit more and connect with them soon.
Hey, guys. I’m Montana from the Asheville staff and I have been a member of the Asheville staff since June of 2018. I am a sophomore at Buncombe County Early College. I love music, animals and learning new things as well as meeting new people. YES! has given me many opportunities that have helped me grow to become the aware mind I am today, with some pretty cool coworkers, I am excited for what is to come.
Hey y’all, I’m Ella. I’m a sophomore at a high school in Asheville. I started working at Youth Empowered Solutions in May 2017. Since I’ve started working at YES! I’ve learned a lot about myself as an advocate and a person. I have become much more comfortable thinking on my feet and speaking in public. I’ve really enjoyed learning about what equity means and how I can use my privilege to advocate for other people. YES! has been a platform for me to explore my interests from a lens of social and racial justice. Outside of work, I enjoy reading novels, writing short stories, and building things with my hands. I don’t know exactly what I’ll pursue in the future, but I’m interested in Engineering, Public Health, and Psychology.
Cedra is an 11th grader enrolled in a STEM school in Asheville, NC. She joined Youth Empowered Solutions in June of 2018 and works with YES! to make an impact in her community. She enjoys not only helping the community, but helping to make her city a part of larger changes in order to create a better living environment for all. Cedra is interested in working on issues of tobacco prevention, consent education, and mental health. In her free time, she works and participates in cheerleading for her high school team.
It’s ya boy Francisco! I am a 16-year-old Junior in Buncombe County. I enjoy nature, running, and music. I am part of the Asheville Youth at YES!, some of the topics I’ve worked on are transit and I’m part of YES!’s Equity Leadership Team. I play trombone, guitar, bass, and drums. I love speaking in front of crowds and YES! allows me opportunities to express myself in front of people.
Hi everyone! My name is Sawyer. I’m a senior in high school and work at the Asheville YES! office. I’ve learned a lot about racial equity, social justice, and privilege during my time so far at Youth Empowered Solutions and I can’t wait to learn more. I’m especially passionate about preventing sexual assault and promoting consent education in schools, and hope to focus my work at YES! around these two topics. In my free time, I spend my afternoons interning at Planned Parenthood, working with the Women’s March, Girl Up, and my school’s Student Government. In college, I plan on studying political science and aspire to continue my advocacy in the political arena when I get older. I’m excited to be working here and look forward to what this year brings.
My name is Lauryn and I’m an 11th grader. I applied for YES! because I feel very strongly about social justice issues and want to help the people in my community. I love learning about ways that I can use this position to create policy change and not only help myself and my peers, but everyone around me as well. In my free time, I enjoy reading and creating art inspired by current issues I see in the world. This job is very empowering to me because I get to work on problems that I’m passionate about, such as mental health and sexual health education reform. I have a strong interest in politics and love having the connections to advocate for change locally and statewide. YES! creates a positive environment where youth can voice their opinions and ideas to better our communities.
John Kelly is a youth advocate working in the Asheville office. He is a senior at a high school in Asheville, where he is particularly interested in studying history and english. He has previously worked in areas of tobacco prevention, transit, food access, and racial equity. At YES!, he has refined his voice to speak on issues he is passionate about. In John Kelly’s free time, he enjoys hiking, reading, and eating Mexican food.
Alex Hollifield, Alex@youthempoweredsolutions.org