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2019 Cohort Program

Policy Advocacy and Civic education 


When people talk about youth’s civic education or leadership, usually the first things come to our minds are community services, volunteering or voting right. However, a lot more can be done to champaign our young generations to be lifelong civic leaders who bring impact to the world: 

The goal of the Young American Policy Advocates (YAPA) program is to help youth become engaged citizens by understanding social issues affecting their lives and their role and responsibility in solving them, as well as providing the tools and platform to study and improve local policies.

The core of the YAPA program is the study groups, where passionate subject experts on local issues mentor high school students to study specific, relevant issues.

Cohort Meetings

Meets every three weeks for team and skill-building. Cohort meeting programs are co-designed and led by student officers.

The YIA conference has three primary objectives: First, to celebrate the accomplishments of students and mentors, Second, to promote youth civic engagement, and Third, to serve as an information exchange between selected, relevant non-profit organizations and students.

A two-day intensive boot camp in summer to kick off the training.

In addition, throughout the four components of the YAPA program, elected officials and community advocates are invited to speak and share their perspectives on certain issues, their careers, or current affairs.  


Advisors, Speakers, and Guests

  • Ro Khanna: US Congressman

  • John Pimental: Entrepreneur, Founder of Common Sense Party

  • Henry Yin: President, APAPA Bay Area Region

  • Albert Wang: Chairman, APAPA Bay Area Region

  • Eleanor Yick: Former President, League of Women Voter Southwest Santa Clara Valley

  • Charles Liu: President, Citizens for Better Community (CBC)

  • Cheryl Cook-Kallio: National board member for the Center for Civic Education, Pleasanton formal mayor

  • Gilbert Wong: Cupertino former mayor, Trustee Foothill-De Anza Community College

  • Jerry Liu: Trustee of Cupertino School board

  • Nancy Smith: Sunnyvale City Council

  • Michael Goldman: Sunnyvale City Council

  • Peter Kuo: Vice-Chair, CA Republican Party

  • Michael Tsai: Trustee, Milpitas School board

  • Felix Wu: Campaign strategist

  • George Yang: Chair, Menlo Park Sister City Committee 

  • Hung Wei: formal board member, Fremont Union High School District

  • Susan Landry: Campbell Vice Mayor

  • Rahul Vasanth: Cupertino Library Commissioner, delegate of Santa Clara County Democratic Party

  • Ava Chiao: high school teacher, delegate in teacher’s union. 

  • Ruhua You: mechanical engineer manager, for renewable energy, Fremont High PTA, board of Silicon Valley Chinese Association

  • Eugene Bradley: founder, Silicon Valley Transit User Group

  • Liana Crabtree: Chair, Cupertino Library Commission

Teaching Fellows

  • Allen Su: UCLA student

  • Brian Gao: Monta Vista High School Senior

  • Iris Zhao: Columbia University student 

  • Felix Wu: Campaign Strategist

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