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 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, Zane Landin.
Over the course of our National Youth Advisory Program (NYAB), YI gathers and trains the next generation of local community leaders. Throughout the program, advocates learn how to tell their stories impactfully, speak to elected officials, advocate for policy change, cultivate community, advise YI on our strategic plans, and pursue a policy they are passionate about, all while gaining transferable skills.
This month, we reached out to former California NYAB graduate Zane Landin to see what he’s up to. We asked him a couple of questions and asked if he had some wisdom to share with other advocates across the country.
What are you up to now after your time on YIs National Youth Advisory Board?
I graduated in May 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Public Relations. Since then, I have heard about different roles, like a graduating internship at General Motors doing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion communications and serving as a Strategic Communications Consultant for my alma mater’s first-generation program. Since then, I have landed an Internal Communications Specialist role at the National Geographic Society. I officially moved to Washington, D.C. After I met President Biden at the first-ever Mental Health Youth Action Forum, I felt more confident about my voice. I have spoken on over 50 podcasts and featured in several publications like New York Weekly, US Reporter, and Buzzfeed. Due to my intersectional identities and mental health experiences, it hasn’t been an easy journey, but I am grateful for the opportunities I have discovered.
What is a skill you learned during the program?
Serving on YI’s National Youth Advisory Board taught me several skills like being a better leader, organizational development, and having an open mind. Because of this leadership opportunity, I have joined several other boards, including Eye to Eye, Best Buddies, love is respect, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
Any advice for current and future young advocates?
Advocacy can be hard work physically and emotionally, especially when progress isn’t moving at the speed you envisioned. How we treat ourselves is incredibly important, so if you ever need to step away from the advocacy space, you should feel empowered. We are advocates for social justice, but we must also be mindful of our individual justice.