Jahiem "Geo" Jones is one of our DLCAPs fellows, a group of youth representatives on the DLCAPS Committee that brainstorms and collaborate on how to impact how LCFF (Local Control Funding Formula) funds will be spent in WCCUSD.
DLCAPs fellows come together from different communities, knowing that youth voice is often forgotten or ignored in district decisions regarding spending, and hope to spark change through breaking down barriers of ageism and addressing flaws in district money distribution. DLCAPs fellows advocate for young people in schools, empowering them to speak out and take agency over their education.
Learn more about our DLCAPs fellows' work here and learn more about Geo below!
What experience in your life inspired you to become a youth leader?
I have been through a lot emotionally and mentally. Being colored has brought a lot of attention and problems that were non-essential. I brought myself to RYSE through help with friends and found myself interested in the Community Health and Youth Organizing departments. I have been interning in all fields in RYSE. I was interested in Education and Justice and how to understand policies, the LCAP, LCFF, and resolution. Which brought me to the DLCAPS Committee and the LCAP fellowship.
How did you first hear about RYSE and why did you choose to get involved?
I heard about RYSE mainly through friends. When I discovered RYSE I was 12. That meant I had to wait a couple of months. When I was 13 I first joined RYSE to mainly have a safe place to go away from home.
If you had to describe RYSE in three words, what would they be and why?
- Youth Lead: I chose this because most of RYSE events, programs, meeting, retreats, and training are for the youth, taught by or with youth experience, and is youth friendly.
- Safe: Most of my days at RYSE are safe and make me feel safe physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I am able to say what I need to express myself freely.
- Justice: RYSE offers different activities that talk about different social justice topics. These range from Education/Food/Youth/Social Justice and much more. RYSE empowers youth to step up and take charge, breaking the barriers of ageism and adultism.
What empowers you to fight for social justice?
I fight for those who can't fight, don't know/understand how to fight, or don't have the resources.
What does education justice mean to you?
Education Justice to me is having a equitable space (school or places around education) and brainstorming ideas that benefits the education system.
What impact do you hope to have through your participation in the school districts Local Control Accountability Parent and Student (LCAPS) Committee?
Breaking the barriers of ageism. Making a change that will put all students on a track to a college or career.
How has participating in the LCAP fellowship benefited you?
It made me understand the LCAP, data, and bylaws. And made me connect with students in different schools.
Tell us something that happened in the RYSE community that resonated with you this month
Attending and participating in Quest for Democracy.
Tell us about your vision for the local community.
Everyone feels safe physically, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally.
What recommendations would you give to people that want to be adult allies about fostering youth voice?
Respect Youth (voices, spaces, and time).
To find out how you can support RYSE, click here.