In early 2015 A. Philip Randolph Institute, in partnership with city agencies such as Department of the Environment, SF PUC, and Neighborhood Empowerment Network, launched a youth leadership pilot programs that became known as Resilient Youth Leadership Academy (RYLA). The RYLA program engaged 10 Bayview youth leaders in an intensive 8 week capacity-building opportunity emphasizing professional skill-building and increased awareness of the role young people play in civic leadership. RYLA youth leaders further developed their capacity as community leaders by learning about how climate change acts as an environmental community stressor in Bayview. Using the professional and civic skills and knowledge, youth developed sustainable mitigation plans to combat the negative future impacts of climate change as it effects their community.
Developing professional and civic skills, learning about the impacts of climate change on urban communities, and developing sustainable mitigation plans to combat this issue are all play into the long-term goal of the RYLA program which to facilitate in the process of setting Bayview youth on a career path that will position them to remain active and effective leaders in the Bayview community.
The RYLA program is quickly becoming a NEN favorite. There have been many positive outcomes to the program, the most inspiring being that teenagers are becoming excited about getting engaged with their city. Here are a few more of the outcomes from our past RYLA cohorts: