Inspiring YEA Camper Updates!

There are many ways we measure the success of YEA Camp. We look at testimonials, evaluations, and other factors, but ultimately YEA Camp is really all about what our campers do after camp is over. After all, our goal is to turn campers’ passion into action to make a better world.

Every month, our campers update us on what they’ve been up to. We’re excited to share just a few recent highlights:

  • Alex in southern California, who recently received a $1000 grant from The Pollination Project to fund her efforts, started a student group that teaches sex education to raise awareness of sexually transmitted diseases. She wrote, “We have our first show on December 1st at UCLA for a World AIDS day event called 48 hours to Action. I’ve planned workshops for the kids in the squad, created the show with their help, helped make props, planned rehearsal dates — wow, it’s just been such a busy month with this. It’s all coming together, though. We have our shirts that just came in and it’s going to be a great way to advertise on campus.” Alex has also been contacting her local school board to try to prevent the district from defunding its health education classes. Go Alex!
  • Annhein in northern California is working to help expand access to education for youth in Vietnam. She’s joined the World Council as a Student Ambassador and recently spoke with the president of the Asia Foundation and policy makers in Asia about her goals. She also put together a care package for a Vietnamese student, volunteered at a local Alzheimer’s Program, AND put up a “compliments wall” at her school — similar to our YEA Camp “appreciation posters” — which was a big hit! Annhien is amazing!
  • Djuna, who is from New York and flew to California this summer to attend YEA Camp, is now the Co-Executive Director of the student-led social justice organization NY2NO (NY to New Orleans) and is leading their meetings and their Growing Youth Organizers program. She is also working with 99rise to address issues of corruption and money in our political system. She is also attending meetings with Students for Middle East Peace and helped to organize a discussion about Gaza at her school! It is hard to keep up with all the incredible things Djuna is doing!
  • Grace has started a Youtube channel as a forum for her cooking demonstrations to inform people about delicious vegan eating. After being motivated by YEA Camp staffer Drew Wilson, who shared about his experience starting the Worcester VegFest, Grace has taken preliminary steps to create a Vegfest in Ohio, including sending out letters to several animal rights organizations for help in organizing it! We can’t wait to see how it shapes up!

(Left to right): Mehar, Brittney, and Grace

  • Mehar, another Pollination Project grant recipient, formed a Girl Up chapter and recruited 15 other students to join! She also educated her entire school by giving a speech and showing The Girl Effect video on the International Day of the Girl. She also held a fundraiser to support Girl Up! Way to go, Mehar!
  • Reilly, a middle school student in Oregon, sat down with her school counselor and created a plan and got her animal rights club started at her school! Go Reilly! She says, “I am definitely not stopping with this. This school club is probably going to be the most important thing I’ve done in my life, and I’m not giving up on the animals.” We are so inspired by Reilly’s dedication and courage. She says that before camp, she never would have felt like she could start or run a club. Reilly also got a Pollination Project grant! She will use the money to print flyers and other materials for her club.
  • We love it when nonprofits tell us how amazing our campers are! We heard from Mercy for Animals in Chicago where our camper Nick is volunteering: “I just wanted to give you a quick update on Nick. I just saw him earlier today, as he was giving me a recap of a Paid-Per-View event he did at his high school. He had 130 kids watch our 4-minute version of Farm to Fridge and got out a bunch of literature as well, so it was a big success. I will be tabling at an upcoming show that his band will be playing at. Great kid!” We knew that already 🙂

It warms our hearts that, months after camp ends, our campers are out there changing their communities and the world. We will keep letting you know about the inspiring things our campers are doing throughout the year! Please consider supporting our work and helping us grow to impact even more young people getting active for a better world!