YEA Camp Activist Spotlight: A Jace of All Trades
YEA Campers around the country are doing inspiring things to make a difference on so many causes. We’re thrilled that as part of this new Activist Spotlight series, we are getting to learn more about what they’re up to and share their activist stories with you in their own inspiring words.
Seventeen-year-old Jace Frazel was a camper at our Massachusetts camp this past summer and has been doing tons of activism! We’re excited to share more about what Jace is up to.
YEA Camp: Tell us about the activism you’ve been doing.
Jace: I have worked with my school’s Gay Straight Alliance to install gender neutral bathrooms. Making this happen, and working with the administration, has taken time. In addition, I am currently working on getting Meatless Mondays in my school. I’m working with the environmental club at my school, but it’s a slow process. We are slowly going to introduce some meatless dishes and hopefully get some vegan options. We are also trying to get some compostable dishes instead of styrofoam in the cafeteria. The environmental club at my school got composting implemented at our school this year. We already had recycling and last year we actually got composting in all the teachers’ rooms, but this year we put composting in the cafeteria for students to use too.
YEA Camp: Wow! That is amazing! How did you get involved with activism and what you’re currently working on?
Jace: I’ve always wanted to make a difference, but I first got involved with activism when I started looking at the news and began surfing through social media, like Instagram. I realized there were so many problems in this world that I wasn’t even aware of, so I started making YouTube videos and posting on social media about various social issues. I especially felt connected towards LGBTQ+ and mental health issues, as those are close to me. I started giving advice to people struggling with their sexuality and gender identity as well as advocating for mental health issues by speaking out about it.
YEA Camp: What challenges have you faced as an activist and how have you dealt with them?
Jace: Right now, in working on getting compostable dishes in my cafeteria instead of styrofoam, we are struggling with the cost differences to get this change implemented. Styrofoam is really, really cheap compared to anything else. It’s literally pennies for each once. A few more pennies for a more environmentally friendly tray doesn’t seem like much, but it adds up. So it’s a ton of research into different types of trays we can get, how much that will cost, possibly getting a grant, and convincing administration.
YEA Camp: What advice do you have for new activists just getting involved?
Jace: For new activists wanting to get involved, the most important thing is finding something you’re really passionate about. It helps if you pick something close to your heart because you’re even more motivated. Then you just have to find ways to make a change. You can start by using skills you already have, whether that’s playing guitar to fundraise or giving a presentation to a group of people about what you’re passionate about.
YEA Camp: How did YEA Camp help you in your activism, if it did?
Jace: I always knew I wanted to make a change, but I didn’t know how to. I had a ton of ideas of things I could do, but I didn’t know where to start. YEA Camp helped by giving me the skills to make positive changes in the world and a community that is always willing to help give advice if I need help with my activism.
YEA Camp: What activist goals do you have in the future?
Jace: In the future, I want to make some sort of LGBTQ+ short film to help spread awareness of identities that are not as well known. I also want to come up with a mental health campaign video.
Jace is 17-year-old YEA Camp alumnus from the North Shore in Massachusetts and attended YEA Camp in 2017. Jace is an avid activist within the LGBTQIA+ community at his high school. Check out Jace’s youtube channel here.
Do you want to make a bigger difference in the world on important causes like equality and human rights, environmental sustainability, or another issue you care about? YEA Camp can help — and we now even have a camp for adults! Let us know if you have any questions!