Y-PLAN student scholars have been making headlines this year! From affordable housing to addressing the future of schools, Y-PLAN Bay Area students garnered attention for their innovative ideas, creative spirit, and commitment to building more equitable futures for their own communities - some even authoring their own calls to action. Check out #YPLANintheNews below!


Math, history and … the housing crisis? Subject lands in Bay Area schools
Housing-related lesson plans emerge as crisis grows
By Marisa Kendall, May 6, 2019

In between math, science and history lessons, kids around the Bay Area are learning about, and in some cases trying to help solve, their communities’ housing issues. In Berkeley last month, students presented their ideas on housing and transportation to civic leaders from around the Bay Area.

“If we don’t engage young people in how this crisis is affecting their everyday life and their ability to succeed, we could lose generations of families in our cities,” said Deborah McKoy, director and founder of the UC Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools and founder of Youth — Plan, Learn, Act, Now (Y-PLAN). “Not to mention we’re just going to get it wrong.”

Read more on the Mercury News website.



Y-PLAN Ends With A-Z Guide From Youth In Improving S.F. Bay Area
The Y-PLAN summit brought out 100 students to U.C. Berkeley for sharing think tank ideas.
By Sue Wood, April 26, 2019

San Francisco Bay Area students in the upper echelons of creative thinking put a new spin on "kids will say and do the darndest things" as the brightest stars took to the mastermind campus of U.C. Berkeley for the 2019 Y-PLAN Policy Summit: Planning a More Inclusive and Resilient Region.

Students from East Palo Alto, Oakland, Richmond, San Francisco took part in presenting fresh solutions to some of the region's biggest challenges such as affordable housing, transportation, education, jobs and climate change.

Read more on Patch’s website.


How to make the world a better place? Start with exercise bikes, for one
By Steve Rubenstein, April 25, 2019

Hundreds of people will be generating electricity in downtown Oakland by pedaling exercise bikes if a couple of high school student manage to get their idea rolling.

Anastasia Landry, 16, said “We’d have new gyms spread out all over Oakland. The bikes would be hooked up to the grid. I think it would help people get their lives together.”

Anastasia, from Skyline High School in Oakland, was among 100 or so Bay Area students who gathered Thursday in a Berkeley meeting hall… to share their ideas for making the world greener, safer and happier. The ideas included flying cars, giant holes to turn rising sea water into attractive fish ponds, streets paved with mah-jongg tiles, time limits for showers, a system of Tokyo-style capsule hotels and special dormitories made out of compressed dirt. Teachers would be housed in those.

Read more on the San Francisco Chronicle website.


Local students' research, experiences to inform Facebook-funded housing study
By Kate Bradshaw, May 8, 2019

In an emotional presentation, four local high school students recently shared their experiences of the housing crisis with the Menlo Park City Council.

Yvette Contreras, a junior at Woodside High, said a friend of hers is considering moving to Oregon because her parents can't afford the rent anymore. Many families, she said, are leaving the state entirely, not seeing hope for affordability elsewhere in the Bay Area.

These four students are part of a program, called "Y-PLAN," that trains high school students to not only share their stories, but conduct research and advocate for public policies. The students and their classmates in the program have some strong ideas about how local leaders can help with the housing crisis. And, as luck would have it, Facebook is listening.

Read more on the Almanac’s website.


Close to Home: 4th graders can make a difference on energy, climate change
Submitted by Cesar Chavez Language Academy Fourth Graders, May 14, 2019

In our fourth grade class, we have been studying energy. Energy is what makes things work, it comes in many forms, and humans depend on it.

To study energy, first, we invited UC Berkeley and public transportation experts from the program called Y-PLAN (Youth-Plan Learn Act Now) to help us build a model of Santa Rosa, understand our environment better and begin thinking about how we want Santa Rosa to be better in the future.

Kids can make a difference. We believe kids can make a difference because we have seen many examples of it happening. We read an editorial from kids in Marin County who also worked with UC Berkeley and Y-PLAN, and were inspired to write our own editorial.

Read more the Press Democrat website.


Marin Voice: San Rafael youth offer ideas to address sea-level rise
By Kim Mandujano, Gerardo Valencia, Genesis Perez and Janely Mendieta, January 23, 2019

We are fifth-grade students at Laurel Dell Elementary School in San Rafael. Since we were in fourth grade we have been working on projects about our city with architects from Youth in Arts and UC Berkeley’s Y-PLAN (a learning project that stands for Youth – Plan, Learn, Act, Now).

This year we have been thinking about what San Rafael will be like in the year 2040 when we are 32 years old. The adults on the 2040 General Plan committee want to hear from us, and we are happy about that.

We want to welcome people and animals to San Rafael. Different kinds of people will want to come if the city is a fun place with lots of opportunity for friendship. We also want our city to be a special place with lots of color, art and fun. We want people to be happy, not mean. We want to be able to go into the streets and not be scared.

Read the full op-ed on the Marin IJ website.