Youth Council and the Statewide Advocacy Council

Youth Leadership

GSA Network is led by youth because we believe that youth have the power to create solutions and lead the fight against homophobia and transphobia. Representatives from GSAs around California serve on the organization's Board of Directors, regional Youth Councils, and Statewide Advocacy Council.

Statewide Advocacy Council

Statewide Advocacy Council is a diverse group of youth leaders from across California that works with GSA Network to change state laws and policies that impact LGBTQ youth. Statewide Advocacy Council members help plan and shape GSA Network’s advocacy efforts and events, including GAYLA (GSA Advocacy & Youth Leadership Academy) and Queer Youth Advocacy Day. They also help develop and promote advocacy campaigns such as our Campaign for LGBT-Inclusive Curriculum and the implementation of the FAIR Education Act.

Statewide Advocacy Council Members, 2013-2014

Sasha Sobol, Los Altos High School
Kimberly Yu, Alexander Hamilton High School
Kirsten Hendrickson, Folsom High School
Abram Bolanos, Hoover High School
Ruhi Bhalla, Santa Monica High School
Matthew Yeung, California High School
Andrew Taban, Canyon High School
Jose Armando Lopez, Pete Knight High School
Ashton Lee, Manteca High School
Thomanyque Williams, Humanities and Arts Academy of Los Angeles
Amber P., Central Valley

Check out this blog post to learn more about Statewide Advocacy Council. Visit Statewide Advocacy Council to learn how you can apply.

Youth Council

Youth Council members come from small towns and cities across California to represent the voices of youth activists and GSAs throughout the state. Youth Council members meet monthly to plan GSA Network's programs, plan and present at conferences, and lead trainings and events throughout the year.

Northern California Youth Council Members, 2012-2013

Rexy Ramon Amaral, Mission High School
Owen Aptekar-Cassels
, Da Vinci Charter Academy
Cass Bethe
l, Menlo-Atherton High School
Tosha Black, Kipp San Jose Collegiate High School
Katie Boucher, San Leandro High School
Aiden Castellanos
, Capuchino High School
Emery Cohen
, Peninsula High School
Aureliano Davila
, Sequoia High School
Raymond Ferronato, Antioch High School
Edian Gapit, Baden High School
JayAre, Christopher High School
Sabina Jacobs, Sequoia High School
Hanna Landsman, El Cerrito High School
Christine Larisch,
Centerville Junior High School
James Patch,
Menlo Atherton High School
Anna Sturla, Davis Senior High School
Chay Tadeo, Alameda Science and Technology Institute
Ellie Welsh-Ferreyra, Holy Names High School

Southern California Youth Council Members, 2013-2014

Ale Alfaro, El Monte High School
Alfredo Sanchez, Torrance High School
Andrew Taban,, Canyon High School
Brenda Saldana, El Monte High School
Cassandra Cassamajor, Torrance High School
Dean Welliver, Insight School of California
Evelyn Ramirez,Gabrielino High School
Gabriela Cortez, El Monte High School
Imani Ward, King Drew Medical Magnet High School
Jazmine Lagunas Guerrero, SOAR High School
Jose Armando Lopez, Knight High School
Josilyn Ruiz, Bishop Amat Memorial High School
Kate Dolbear, Troy High School
Kayle Edwards, Quartz Hill High School
Nicole Harris, Carlsbad High School
Patrick Cordova-Goff, Azusa High School
Ruhi Bhalla, Santa Monica High School
Thomanyque Williams, Humanities and Arts Academy of Los Angeles


Central Valley Expression, Not Supression Committee 2012-2013

Espii Gutierrez, Countryside Community Day High School
Calen Valencia, Tulare Union High School
Brianna Navarro, Clovis East High School
Brianna Luna, Woodlake Union High School
Christian Capulin, Johansen High School

The Central Valley does not have a regional Youth Council but instead has a planning committee for the region's annual queer and allied youth conference called Expression, Not Suppression (ENS) that takes place in Fresno. The Central Valley program is seeking dedicated youth to help plan the conference, present at workshops, and do outreach to the region about the conference and GSA Network's programs. If you are interested in joining the ENS Committee and making it better for queer and allied youth in the Central Valley, apply below at the "Join a Youth Council" link.

Find out what it’s like to be on Youth Council and learn how you can apply. Visit
Join a Youth Council.


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