Welcome to Day 8 of our 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes series to celebrate the amazing accomplishments of our campers and the ways YEA Camp has helped them to make an even bigger difference! You can help us reach even more campers through supporting our year-end fundraising campaign here.
We love that YEA Campers have a wide range of activist experience before YEA Camp — from knowing they want to get involved but not knowing how, to having already accomplished a lot. Wherever they start from, our goal is to help campers make an even bigger difference than they have in the past or would have made without us.
There are few YEA Campers who have been more active or dedicated before coming to YEA Camp than Shelby from Los Angeles. Shelby was already active in her school’s Gay Straight Alliance and Animal Allies club for which she had done several fundraisers and outreach activities. We were blown away reading her application at how much she was already doing.
In it, Shelby wrote she wanted to come to YEA Camp because it would be “incredible to spend a week living in a community with people who are supportive and passionate about activism, because I feel like there are so few people I can relate to
in that way.”
Since YEA Camp, Shelby has done so many amazing things, and has kept us so updated, it’s hard to even list all the things she has done. As a leader in her school’s GSA, she organized Pride Week at her high school, spoke about diversity at a local middle school assembly and to elementary school teachers, organized fundraisers, and even organized with other LA school GSAs in putting on “Gay Prom” and other dances that were safe spaces for all. She also advocated for composting and veg school lunches, volunteering with different organizations, and this year has been advocating for transgender rights at her college, participated in rallies about climate change and police brutality in the #BlackLivesMatter rallies, and the list just goes on and on.
This summer Shelby came back to YEA Camp to be on staff as a counselor in training, where she led workshops (like this one on school clubs) and supported younger activists in their own development as changemakers.
It has been amazing to see all the ways Shelby is growing as an activist, and we are so proud of all she has accomplished. We asked her what difference YEA Camp made since she had already done so much, and we were so inspired when she told us.
- “I felt confident enough to commit to so many different projects and be such a leader! YEA Camp helped give me more confidence for speaking in front of groups. I pretty much was not nervous at all.
- If not for YEA Camp, I wouldn’t have had the idea for composting in the first place or the idea to work with the elementary school.
- I wouldn’t have been so confident when talking/questioning about
veganism. I wouldn’t have been so willing to jump on all these environmental protests, and I wouldn’t have been as organized with it all. I wouldn’t have been so confident going back to school, being a leader.”
Here is a short video Shelby made (that we love!) to share her experiences. (She wanted to make sure we noticed her YEA Camp appreciation poster and completion certificate on her college dorm walls in the background too! )
YEA Camp is thrilled to be able to support amazing youth activists like Shelby making an even bigger difference, and as a nonprofit we count on your support to keep growing. We appreciate your contributions to our work!
Tune in tomorrow for Day 9 of 12 Days of YEA Camp Heroes!
Missed previous days of YEA Camp Heroes? We don’t blame you for wanting to catch up! Here’s Day 1 about Megan in Massachusetts raising money for the homeless, Day 2 showcasing Joyce in New Jersey speaking about about bullying, Day 3 highlighting Maddie in Colorado advocating for animals, Day 4 about Lia from Washington state working to address the stigma of mental illness and reducing teen suicide, Day 5 about Roberto from North Carolina speaking more confidently about progressive causes, Day 6 about Ana from California advocating for women, workers, animals, and more, and Day 7 about Jia Hui’s animal advocacy!
Does YEA Camp sound perfect for a 12-17 year-old you know (perhaps YOU)? Join us or send them our way this summer for the best week of their life!