Our Big Take-Away

by Alondra Young

youth leadership team

Youth Leadership Team members visited the UC Davis campus in June 2014. We took the bus and learned how close we are to campus and how to get back and forth! Left to right: Zelia Gonzales, Estefanie Reyes, Yeshayah Yisrael, and Tobiyah Yisrael.

Hey, it’s Alondra Young! I am the Building Healthy Communities Youth Engagement Coordinator from Sacramento! I had the privilege of working with the awesome people at the Center for Regional Change last summer, using their Putting Youth on the Map (PYOM) website. In late June, I and other youth leaders from Sacramento hopped on the local city bus and rode up to the UC Davis Campus from Sacramento. We were able to receive an introduction to PYOM, meet CRC faculty, staff and graduate students, and receive a pretty cool campus tour! During our training, we learned about the importance of data, navigated the PYOM site, read maps, and learned about the Youth Well-Being Index and the Youth Vulnerability Index

Our big take-away from this training was being able work with other youth leaders by using these tools. This introduction led us to host a four-session training for other youth leaders in the Sacramento area about how to use data in our advocacy work. We are now all working together and are using our data mapping skills on the Grades Up Campaign! This youth-led campaign is intended to provide youth with free academic and community resources that allow students to succeed in school. It also provides a platform for youth to build confidence and have an active voice in their education. PYOM has been a very useful tool in enabling us to get access to data, and providing a platform for youth to work together and have a voice!


CRC crew

We met up in the CRC Mapping Lab at UC Davis for a first look at Putting Youth on the Map. Left to right: Members of the Youth Leadership Team, including Sacramento Youth Engagement Coordinator Alondra Young, Estefanie Reyes, Zelia Gonzales, Tobiyah Yisrael and Yeshayah Yisrael; and UC Davis Center for Regional Change faculty and staff Nancy Erbstein, Sergio Cuellar and Sheryl-Ann Simpson.

Hi I’m Alondra Young, and I work for People Reaching Out, where I am the Sacramento Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Youth Engagement Coordinator. I am the adult ally who helps guide the Sacramento BHC Youth Leadership Team. This team is made up of 10 amazing youth leaders who are eager to create change in their community. For fun I LOVE to run. Just recently, I ran on a 12-woman relay team in a 205-mile race called Ragnar. We ran from San Francisco to Napa Valley!

CRC Tools in the Classroom: See the Connections

Professor Gloria M. Rodriguez, School of Education, University of California, Davis

Gloria Rodriguez

Gloria M. Rodriguez. Image courtesy of UC Davis School of Education.

I teach an undergraduate course through Chicana/o Studies called Political Economy of the Chicana/o Community every spring quarter. I have three mid-term papers that are opportunities for students to use publicly-accessible data (via websites, mostly) to do some analysis of the education, health, and labor conditions that intersect to shape the political economies of California’s Chicana/o-Latina/o communities.

Every year, there is some frustration — and lots of learning — about the (in)ability to find data in these three areas of interest that can be tied to the same geographical area. What typically occurs is that students have to make compromises, moving from presenting a school district or school-level analysis of their selected community, then having to present a city or county level analysis of the health and labor conditions. This means they lose a lot of that local connection when they work toward synthesizing what they’ve learned.

In 2013, one of my students was able to bring a CRC colleague to help the class use the pilot version of the Putting Youth on the Map (PYOM) tools, and it was a fantastic resource! The students who tried it were excited to see the connections among the data tables and maps. They also came away with a much deeper appreciation for why having full information and multiple data sources can empower communities to hold folks in power positions accountable for the challenges and barriers that keep people — particularly youth — from thriving.

It was an excellent supplement to the other data sources that the students were using. The layered design that allows for disaggregation of the PYOM data was useful to my students. I look forward to learning more about it, and if available next time I teach this course, I will certainly make it known to my students.


Gloria Rodriguez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Education and the Co-Director of the CANDEL (Capital Area North Doctorate in Educational Leadership) Program at UC Davis. Her work focuses on the educational conditions and trajectories of Chicana/o-Latina/o communities, other communities of color, and low-income populations in the U.S. Her current research explores notions of educational investment. Learn more about Dr. Rodriguez’s work at http://education.ucdavis.edu/faculty-profile/gloria-m-rodriguez.

Working for the CRC: The Ultimate Millennial Experience!

by Meghan Jordan, CRC Web Designer

Last summer, I had an incredible opportunity to work for the UC Davis Center for Regional Change (CRC) as their web designer. While most of my friends were waitressing, getting coffee for their boss, or filing paperwork all day, I was entrusted to design an entire website on my own. From brainstorming to coding to seeing the site go live – I got to be there through it all!

The site I designed was for the CRC’s project called, Putting Youth on the Map (PYOM). I began work on this site as a project for my spring quarter (2014) undergraduate design class with Professor Glenda Drew of the Department of Design here at UC Davis. In this course we were given the option to try out a project for the CRC, Sesame (an energy group), or create our own project. I chose to work on a project for the CRC because I was excited by the work being done there, and wanted to see it more easily accessible to the public so others could be excited, too. I designed a potential portal page for the PYOM.

Following the conclusion of my design course, members of the CRC were able to review and critique my work, as well as that of my fellow classmates. Shortly thereafter, I was connected with Jonathan London, Nancy Erbstein, and Sergio Cuellar from the CRC. They were impressed by my work, asking me to continue the project and make the site a reality. Over the summer, I returned home to the Pacific Northwest and continued creating the website. So I had the ultimate millennial experience: I was able to work from home, 600 miles away from my job site at UC Davis!

The new PYOM site was launched August 26, 2014. Since then I have been helping design the CRC’s general website, including this blog. I’m excited to continue my work this school year with the CRC. This job has been unique and rewarding. I have been given a lot of responsibility to design and create a website on my own. The people I have had the opportunity to work with at the CRC have lots of innovative ideas, and I have the task of sharing these ideas via the website. This job has been a great opportunity to gain some valuable work experience that will pay off as my graduation date looms near!

Stay tuned for lots of exciting new projects!

Meghan JordanMeghan is a senior double-majoring in Design and Communication at UC Davis. Besides working for the CRC, she is a member of the Division 1 Lacrosse Team and works for UC Davis Athletic Communications. Check out her personal site here.

Image above: Screen shot of the Putting Youth on the Map site which can be found here.