The Youth Leadership Now Program (YLN) is a community-oriented model, led by youth who have grown up in West Oakland and wish to inspire younger generations by sharing their experiences. The goal is to help younger generations rise above the constraints of their communities or current situations through a one-year project, Looking Through Our Lens, which will work to reverse the traditional image of marginalized youth as “damaged” or “needing to be fixed”. YLN will provide a consistent level of commitment to these youths through lasting and meaningful relationships and a restored sense of community. YLN will launch Looking Through Our Lens in the Summer of 2012 equipping youth with photography and research skills to encourage them to critically analyze their community and their own potential to work for changes that impact their community.
Many students who died during the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech tried to text 9-1-1 for help, but their messages were never received because police