We have two more young social innovators from Cleveland High School who were excited about the Fast Pitch this year and wanted to come to the Finals Showdown so we asked them to tell us a litte about themselves and why they wanted to join the social innovation community at the Showdown. They are Elizabeth Cachuela and Brittney Villars both Seniors and Youth Ambassador Board Members.
I am a part of an organization called Youth Ambassadors. Youth Ambassadors is a program that empowers students to help other students succeed and give students voices into their education. Youth Ambassadors is involved with OSPI (Office Superintendent Public Instruction, GATE (Graduation A Team Effort) because they work to reduce the dropout rate in schools and making sure students are successful. I am very passionate because I have seen the graduation rate issue in my own school in Seattle and how it affects the students who decided not to finish high school. Their decision to not graduate hurts all future decisions in their life and I want all students to have a chance to follow their dreams. It is very painful to watch your peers fall and drop out because they are not getting what they need to succeed and graduate. This is why I think it’s very important to include youth participation where students falling through the cracks at school can find them another peer who believes in them. I believe each student should see that they can succeed no matter the circumstance. Lowering the dropout rate would is a goal I’m honored to be a part of. Fast Pitch is a great way for Youth Ambassadors to meet people and share our vision with other people who care about our community. I mentored three students successfully last year and Fast Pitch will help continue our important efforts at Cleveland High School.
I’m a member of the Youth Ambassador youth board and feel it’s critical for youth to have the opportunity to share their knowledge with the greater community. Fast Pitch allows us to amplify our voice. I work with other students to help reduce truancies and tardiness at Cleveland High School. I feel strongly that as Cleveland High School students we need to take action to help support our fellow peers not engaging in our own school community. I really believe I can be a source of hope and inspiration to my fellow peers. It takes a village and I want to be part of the solution. As a Youth Ambassador I’m part of a community of students providing vital insight, creating, and taking action to enhance the Cleveland High School community. I have been presenting at several venues including at the City of Seattle Press Conference for the Be Here Get There Attendance Campaign. I additionally attended a Drop Out prevention conference in Washington DC as one of the Pacific Northwest youth representatives. Fast Pitch can help us achieve our goal to expand and spread our peer to peer efforts across the state. I’m especially proud of my mentor, Olivia Smith who is competing in the final Fast Pitch competition. Olivia is a role model to many and a very special person in my life. Good luck Olivia we can’t wait to cheer you on and be there to support you. You are an inspiration to all the Youth Ambassadors!