Creating Leaders through Volunteerism and Civic Engagement

The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Kailash Satyarthi, said it best with these words: “The power of youth is the common wealth for the entire world. The faces of young people are the faces of our past, our present and our future. No segment in the society can match with the power, idealism, enthusiasm, and courage of the young people.” 

Global Ties Sacramento agrees and is grateful to facilitate international exchanges that focus on youth empowerment. A recent exchange connected Sacramento with participants from 18 countries on the topic of “Volunteerism and Civic Engagement,” and featured an insightful and meaningful discussion with the California Center for Civic Participation.

Executive Director Belen Flores, and Program Manager Drucella Miranda, shared how the Center’s youth programs inspire young people to become more civically engaged, learn about important global issues, and become leaders in their communities. Whether it is through the Women in Politics program that empowers young women to learn about the political process, the Green Focus program that engages local youth in California’s environmental policies, or the Center’s various mentorship programs, the Center creates pathways for young people to expand networks, become empowered through civic education, and find the confidence to become changemakers.  

Collectively, the group stressed the importance of providing young people with opportunities and leadership skills that can turn their idealism and enthusiasm into action. The international participants were struck by the passion and dedication of the team at California Center and very appreciative of their efforts to ensure a safe and inclusive environment for all who participate in their youth programs. 

A few of the international participants also experienced a virtual home hospitality event, engaging with a variety of Sacramento locals, including teachers, a doctor, a journalist, and a legislative advocate who volunteers her time with another youth program, CalYMCA Youth & Government. The participants cherished meeting the residents, learning more about life in Sacramento, and sharing details about themselves and their important advocacy work on behalf of young people around the world. 

Global Ties Sacramento continues to be inspired by the efforts of our local resources and international participants who support and empower youth as they strive to make the world a better place. 

If you are interested in becoming more involved with international exchange programs in Sacramento, please contact Kim Todd or subscribe to our mailing list.

If you are interested in reading more about exchange programs throughout the Global Ties U.S. Network, click here.