Supporting Youth Actions for Community
Three high school students have contributed their time, energy, and skills to help senior citizens via the Home Access Grant Senior Outreach Project. This effort is one output from the Senior Advocacy Commission of the Sunnyvale Youth Public Policy Institute(YPPI). The students, all juniors and under the sponsorship of the LWVCS Program Chair, Nancy Smith, are Ritu Belani, Harker Academy, Sneha Gupta, Archbishop Mitty High and Mira Haldar, Homestead High collaborated with YPPI (Youth Public Policy Institute) on the Home Access Grant Senior Outreach Project.
Sneha led this project to increase awareness about the grant through theSunnyvale Senior Center. Older adults can use the grant funds to installplatform lifts for mobile homes, entrance modifications such as widened doorways and wheelchair ramps, and bathroom modifications like grab bars, hand rails and accessible showers. The students presented this project to the LWV CS Annual meeting in Spring of 2022. They also wrote a report on recommendations for the Sunnyvale Housing Department to gain more applicants for the Home Access Grant, which were incorporated into the Sunnyvale Housing Element Update.
They requested help to publicize the effort. This is the beginning of ongoing updates for our League. The three students all felt that being a member of the Senior Advocacy Commission helped improve not only the lives of seniors but lives in the entire community.
Another student led project centered around the Reid Hillview airport and concerned a study of lead levels in children living near the airport in East San Jose. The study results showed increased lead levels in children living near the airport. Project results recommending closure of the airport were presented by the students to the Santa Clara County Commissioners and all 5 Commissioners voted to support this recommendation – an historic vote.
Another student project involved teaching seniors about technology at the Oakmont Columbia Assisted Living Center in San Jose. The students all felt gratified by the response of the seniors to their work and were excited with their outreach, problem solving and planning. A goal was to retrain seniors so they could contribute to the workforce. The students enjoyed interacting with the seniors and hearing their life stories.
Another project concerned Asian American hate crimes and interviewing members of the youth group, building on a project started earlier.
When asked about their role models, all three said it is their mothers – who are hard working problem solvers. One was quoted saying “life is a marathon” and success is a result of hard work and persistence.
For fun, the young women are involved in reading, creating things, outdoor activities. Ritu does standup comedy and humorous videos. For the future, they want to continue helping others and get feedback on their work.
More information on these enterprising students’ activities:
They also have an Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/senior_advocacy/which has some posts about various projects we've done in the past.
Reid Hillview Airport post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUTVY1YvGmJ/