Written By Wendy Ye
Due to complications with funding, the UCSF Youth Steering Committee program ended abruptly after 20 years of serving young girls and their road to empowerment and strength. The news came as a shock for the 17 interns in the program, which consisted of high school girls from around the SFUSD, including Galileo. Both the supervisors and interns were deeply disappointed because they were looking forward to more years of women empowerment.
“I was devastated when I found out that YSC was coming to an end. I felt like it was kinda unfair because the YSC members, including the coordinators, were notified last minute so we didn’t have time to plan anything out. We were also left with very little information on the situation. I wish there was some way for the program to be brought back because this program has changed my life in so many positive ways. I wish others could experience what I got to experience. This program was life changing and does not deserve to be discontinued!” said senior Cathy Q., a member of the YSC program, who attends Washington High School.
The program was founded by Dr. Nancy Milliken and Congresswoman Jackie Speier with the purpose of uplifting and supporting young women into one day reaching high positions such as a seat in Congress.
Interns met every Thursday and once or twice on Saturday each month. Each meeting was valuable because each meeting brings them one step closer to their annual summit called the UCSF Women’s Health and Leadership Summit, where they invited young women from different SFUSD schools to come and thrive in an environment where there are safe spaces and support for one another. They picked workshops and keynote speakers that they would like to be included in the Summit. “Being in a supportive group that has been through it all you learn from each-other and grow through it together.” said senior Maria , member of the YSC program, who attends Burton.
Although the program has ended, its legacy lives on with the ripple effect. The program has touched and empowered 10,000 women throughout the 20 years of service. Some alumni are so touched that they came back to speak to the interns about their experience and how the program has impacted them.