The 2018 Youth Leadership Institute

Thank you to Peace Over Violence, for helping me grow as a person and helping me find the power within myself.
— Isabel, Youth Leader



As thousands of students across LAUSD finish their first day back to school, we reminisce, inspired by what was accomplished over the Summer. This year's Youth Leadership Institute, once again, hosted a group of students, eager to transform their communities, shifting a culture that perpetuates violence.

From spending their Summer days learning about the impact of sexual and domestic violence, to taking trips to The California African American Museum and the Autry Museum of the American West, the youth leaders learned the history that has led to where we are today, the good and the bad.

A trip to Los Angeles City Hall and the Los Angles Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission meeting, and a visit from CA Senator Holly Mitchell and Vice Mayor of Huntington Park, Karina Macias, connected the youth to their local leaders and government, learning that the voices of youth can and need to be heard!

With the tools they learned from our In Touch With Teens curriculum, their lived experiences and guidance from experts that they engaged with, the youth spent the last two weeks working in focused tracks, utilizing the knowledge from the institute and practicing how to bring it back to their schools, families and communities.



Community Organizing & Mobilizing


In this track, youth learned how to develop relationships with their community and work with partners to organize. Led by Violence Prevention Program Coordinator, Aracely Lozano, the youth worked on developing the Youth conference, “Make A Choice Summit," in February 2019. This conference seeks to bridge the gap between youth and adult allies through empathy and dialogue. Stay connected to POV to learn more about their work.


Creative Writing & Communications


In this track, youth studied history and the benefits of using of our voice as an instrument of change. Students learned different ways to communicate messages through Poetry and Spoken Word, Debate, Public Speaking and Interviewing methods. Working closely with our community partner, “Say Word LA,” a spoken word group consisting of teenagers who have performed nationwide, we participated in a workshop and found our truths, culminating in spoken word presentations at our graduation that touched the hearts of the audience. Led by Prevention team manager, Rashad Beal, youth will work with the Community Organizing track to participate in the Make A Choice Summit.


Digital & Social Media


During the Digital and Social Media internship track, youth explored the effectiveness and reach of utilizing social media to educate, advocate, and organize around issues that they care most about. Each member then developed and created their own digital story to connect what they learned during the Institute, to a message that they felt their communities needed to know about. From LGBTQ inclusiveness, to the impacts of intergenerational violence, to teen dating violence, the youth created poster campaigns and videos to tell their stories. They will continue to work on their projects, building towards a cohesive message, to debut at the Make A Choice Summit.



To the Los Angeles Kings for your continued support of the Youth Leadership Institute, investing in the future of our communities.

StoryPeace Over Violence