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YAP Alumni Highlight

Ayana Clark 11821024 1

Young Invincibles has been empowering young adults for over a decade; our network of youth community and student leaders numbers in the thousands. Young adults have proven time and time again that they will be the change past generations have hoped for. All we need to do is set them up for success. YI has embarked on a campaign to highlight the many alumni who have passed through our youth programs. Some of them now work as our colleagues and teammates while others have been trailblazers at other institutions and programs. Some started their own campaigns to empower others. All around the world, YI alumni are doing wonderful work in service of the community.

Check out this month’s alumni highlight, Ayana Clark.

Over the course of our young advocate programs (YAP), YI gathers and trains the next generation of local community leaders. Throughout the program, advocates learn how to tell their stories in an impactful manner, speak to elected officials, advocate for policy change, cultivate community, and pursue a policy they are passionate about, all while gaining transferable skills.

This month, we reached out to former Illinois YAP graduate Ayana Clark to see what she’s up to. We asked her a couple of questions and asked if she had some wisdom to share with other advocates across the country.

What are you up to now after your time on the IL YAP?
I am running for local office in Chicago, Illinois. If elected, I will be the first Black Woman to hold the position.

What is a skill you learned during the program?
I learned how to use my experiences to advocate for legislation. There is power in your testimony, and YAP taught me to clearly communicate the impact legislation has on daily life.

It also taught me how to connect with people and organize. There is power in the collective, and the skills I learned at YAP have helped me connect with people on an intimate level.

Any advice for current and future young advocates?
Walk into every space like you were born to be there. We are the future change agents for so many communities that are in need of our advocacy. If you have the opportunity to participate in YAP, I encourage you to make every connection and keep in touch with your cohort. They can serve as support in your future endeavors.

Young Invincibles is lucky to have had Ayana as a member of our YAP in Illinois and knows that her upward trajectory is only beginning. We wish her many years of success, fortitude, and growth.