Established in 1996, Yolotzonyo is a youth empowerment project that aims to affirm under-resourced students in the Los Angeles area that they have the potential to pursue their goals whether that be higher education or other non-academic routes. Yolotzonyo is an Indigenous Nahua term that translates to “heart rooted in the community.” Thus, Yolotzonyo builds connections to our hearts, self, our community, and the land. Yolotzonyo’s mission is to cultivate students to be critical of their education and community conditions so they can become agents of change. Yolotzonyo services high school youth and non-traditional continuation students by centering social justice, college readiness, and alternative career paths to academia In addition, Yolotzonyo conducts an annual community organizing internship where we develop UCLA undergraduate students as community organizers by introducing them to the practical tools of social and restorative justice. Through restorative justice we foster healthy discourse, relationships, and critical dialogue.
Signatories: Serena Martinez, Melissa Barboza-Larios, and Anthony Ayala
Advisor: Orlando Luna
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