The La Familia Counseling Center, located at 5523 34th Street , is a place that provides outreach to endangered young people and low-income families. At La Familia Counseling Center there is a program called Youth Voice. Youth Voice teaches kids that are aged 14-19 leadership skills and how impact the community in a positive way. Youth Voice helps teenagers look for volunteer opportunities and work with diverse groups of people. Meetings are held every Friday in the La Familia library from 4 -6 p.m. to teach teens about how to become a leader and hold a discussion about important topics. This is a great place in South Sacramento where young people can learn many things.

Every Friday, there are always new members that join the group and every member get to meet new people. Going to the youth program can make a teen into a positive influence. For example, one who is very shy can begin to open up by coming to the meetings and talking with other youths about current topics. Apolonia Cortez, the program coordinator, helps to connect young people to volunteer opportunities and teaches leadership skills to the participants. Also, Isaac Gonzalez with accesslocal.tv  helps teens improve their skills with writing and editing videos.

A few  thing that I’ve learned from going to Youth Voice are public speaking skills, college preparation, and interviewing exercises. This program had taught me to be positive and be a role model to other people. This program had helped me find a lot of volunteer opportunities that I need to fulfill the community service requirements at John F. Kennedy High School.

Mimi Wong, a participant at Youth Voice, said, “Youth Voice is a great learning experience where teenagers get together and discuss about the community issues. It’s a fun place where you learn leadership skills and it is a great experience.”

For more information about La Familia, visit their website.

By Marilyn Wong