Valley Focus: Fresno Woman Earns Prestigious Recognition from James Irvine Foundation

A Fresno community leader is getting statewide recognition for her work with local youth.

Yammilette Rodriguez is the Senior Director of the Central Valley Youth Leadership Institute. Yami as she is known, believes in the power of youth voice.

She encourages young people to express their opinions and let their voices be heard on and off campus including places like city halls and the state capitol.

Rodriguez says nearly a third of the population of the city of Fresno is under the age of 18. "They have solutions. We just have to hear them," she said in a recent interview.

Rodriguez was honored with the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award in Sacramento in February. The award comes with $250,000 to continue

Her work with local youth. Rodriguez joined Valley Focus host Liz Harrison in the ABC30 studios on February 28, 2019, to talk about the special recognition and how empowering children, teens, and young adults can make communities better. Some of their work includes pushing for tobacco-free parks, creating youth commissions and reducing alcohol signage in local stores.
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