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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Letter to the editor

To the editor of the Aggie and the UC Davis Community,

The Youth Empowerment Program is very thankful for the article printed about our Immigrant Youth Art and Poetry Exhibit held on May 15. However, there were some incorrect statements made in that article that we would like to amend.

To begin, the purpose of the Youth Empowerment Program (YEP) is to work with the juvenile hall facility to provide the immigrant and local adjudicated youth in detention (not incarcerated) a mentor that can not only provide the youth with helpful information about jobs, colleges and scholarships, but also to assist the youth to recognize their full potential. Silvia Vargas and Roxanne Calimeris are the current co-coordinators of YEP and have worked with the program creator, Shay Fluharty, to ensure that the program assists the youth as much as possible. However, YEP as a volunteer group does not provide any legal advice to the youth in detention. In addition, YEP is not in any way gang affiliated and the vast majority of youth in detention are also not gang affiliated. While the Aggie article printed on Wednesday shared some of the stories of immigrant youth, YEP hopes to inform the public of the positive diversity of backgrounds of immigrant youth. Furthermore, if any member of the community has any questions regarding YEP and the youth we work with, please do not hesitate to contact Roxanne and Silvia (the program co-coordinators) directly at racalimeris@ucdavis.edu and silvargas@ucdavis.edu.

Thank You,
Roxanne Calimeris and Silvia Vargas
Youth Empowerment Program Coordinators

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