A key part of CFJ’s mission is that our members develop the skills and leadership necessary to become part of the next generation of grassroots civil rights leaders. Our goal is for CFJ members to learn the practical skills and political analysis needed to win real change.
Reuben Martinez is a senior at Wilson High School in Long Beach. He has been involved with CFJ for 3 years now and is currently the chapter president for the CFJ club at his school. Through leadership development opportunities with CFJ, Reuben has become a confident fundraiser and a leader in regional campaigns. He continues to pass on the skills he’s learned by facilitating workshops for his peers in the Summer Youth Leadership Academy. After graduation he plans to attend Berkeley to pursue a career in economics.
“CFJ is important to me because it gives youth a chance to change something they want to see improved in their community.”
Karanvir Sandhu joined CFJ San Jose in the fall of 2011 and soon became one of San Jose’s most active student members. Karanvir was the president of his high school CFJ chapter and an intern for the Advanced Summer Youth Leadership Academy in San Jose. As a youth organizer Karanvir is constantly thinking of how he can engage his peers to take action on issues that impact them. Through his multiple roles in CFJ, he has been able to lead other students at his school to address the issues they care about, such as the lack of access to working and clean restrooms. For Karanvir, leadership and organizing skills are crucial to improving his community and his passion for social change inspires both staff and his peers.
“I stay engaged in CFJ because I want to make a positive change in my community. I want to develop other young leaders that will work to improve our community.”
Christine Tadena is a senior at Oakland Technical High School. She has been involved with CFJ for 2 years, first as a Summer Youth Leadership Academy Intern and now as chapter president for the Oakland Tech. As a youth organizer, Christine is passionate about building relationships with her fellow students and encouraging other youth around Oakland to have a voice in their community. Whether it’s about dismantling the Gender Binary or improving educational access, Christine has become a leader by developing students through her deep understanding of political education. She has been a crucial component to the success of the new Oakland Tech base, and will continue to build the leadership of her peers as she gets ready to go to college.
“Youth organizing interests me because it empowers the voices of youth that don’t get to be heard. As a youth organizer myself, being involved with CFJ has helped develop my own voice and encouraged me to become a leader.”
Te’Ausha Garcia is a senior at Edison High School in Fresno. After attending a CFJ presentation in the spring of 2012, Te’Ausha immediately got involved and was soon recruiting her peers to join CFJ. Te’Ausha is a powerful young woman of color, one of our most active and amazing leaders, and graduate of our 2012 Summer Youth Leadership Academy (SYLA). Upon graduation Te’ausha stepped up her leadership even further by becoming our Campaign Chair and working tirelessly to wrap up our successful Dropout Campaign. Te’Ausha is a shining example of a lifelong movement leader and and advocate for social and racial justice. In the future,Te’ausha plans to stay involved with CFJ and other youth-led organizations and continue to foster her passions for poetry and dancing.
“After being involved with CFJ for 2 years now I can honestly say that it has changed my perspective dramatically about a lot of issues faced in my community everyday. It opened me up to a new way of thinking, and increased my knowledge on many things like past history, my culture and the heritage of other oppressed groups or individuals. CFJ helped me develop my skills, and discover many skills I didn’t know I had. CFJ changed my view points and gave me hope and a voice, allowing me to project my opinions.