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About the
Youth Leadership Organization (YLO)

The Youth Leadership Organization (YLO) strives to develop

young leaders to engage in the local and global justice

struggle. A project of Southwest Workers Union (SWU), the

YLO emphasizes an inter-generational model to integrate

youth into ongoing campaigns while promoting youth-led

processes and leadership for social change.


The YLO is a city-wide organization that provides social and leadership development skills to youth between the ages of 12 to 18. The YLO aims to create socially conscious youth thinkers and organizers.


Our movement is based on locally driven solutions, organizing communities of color, and empowering youth and their families towards social systemic change. YLO members participate all year in workshops, marches, protests, and art & music project. We believe young people have a say in the governance of schools. 

With the pandemic, our programming has moved outdoors in the Roots of Change Garden or via Zoom. This program is limited to 13 youth leaders.



We will be in the Roots of Change Garden 🪴   Gardening, watering, cleaning, and harvesting veggies. We will be learning DIY garden projects. But also using the space to give back to the land and get intune with our surroundings. 

Self-Care/Cuidados Personales

Focusing on learning ways to take care of ourselves, physically, mentally, and spiritually. By going on hikes, pollution clean-ups, meditating, art, and culture, integrating self-reflection moments. Achieving summer goals together. 


Learning from each other. Being able to understand the social justice lens within our communities. From environmental justice to globalization, and how everything is interconnected.  


 Program Details

The registration will be open from June 3rd-June 10th. The Summer Internship will run for 8 weeks. This summer internship program is for youth aged 12-18.  We will be out in the garden two days out of the week and have sessions via zoom once a week. Bonnie will be calling you on June 10th to confirm and notify you of times and locations. Email Bonnie for more questions. Acceptance calls will be June 10th.

SCHEDULE June 15 - August 6th.

  • TUES. 6-8


  • THURSDAY 6-8

  • FIELD DAYS: Meet at the Location

    • Leon Creek Clean Up

    • Mission Acequia

    • Fredrick Park Hike

    • Kayaking in the Yanaguana River

    • Eisenhower Park Hike 


  • Be a person between 12-18 that has an interest in social justice.

  • Ready to participate in activities, workshops, cultural events, and trainings.

  • Perceptible to learning and sharing, thinking critically, inquiring and strategizing social issues

  • Be conscious and accountable for our time together, projects, and campaigns

  • Willingness to improve the community.




Applicants who participate for the duration of the 8 weeks will qualify for a modest stipend. A certificate and the stipend will be delivered during the graduation on August 6th - 6 - 8:30pm in the Roots of Change Garden, 1416 E. Commerce.  We invite parents, care takers, and mentors to attend.



  • Fuerza Unida

  • Circles in the Hood


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