Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara Teen Center Member Mia Ruvalcaba, 15, has been selected as one of 12 teens to serve on the 2020-2021 National Girls Inc. Teen Advocacy Council (TAC).
This is only the second time a teen member of the Santa Barbara Girls Inc. affiliate has served in a national leadership capacity on the council since its inception in 2016. Last year Sarahi Larios Cruz, now a high school senior, participated on the council last year.
“For me, it means that I am going to step outside of my comfort level and try a new experience,” Mia says. “I am ready to be open minded and learn from other teens about their ideas and thoughts on issues affecting their communities.”
The TAC is starting its fifth year as an advisory body to the Girls Inc. National Public Policy Team. TAC members inform Girls Inc. National about issues facing girls and teens in their respective local communities. Additionally, the teen members support Girls Inc. advocacy efforts through writing blog posts, sharing messages on social media, and speaking publicly about the #GirlsToo campaign, Title IX, and other pressing issues and legislation facing girls and teens. #GirlsToo, the Network-wide campaign launched in October 2018, is aimed at preventing K-12 sexual harassment and violence.
“I am interested in learning about all the issues that affect women and teens – I am ready to dive in and educate myself more,” Mia adds. “I want to gain more knowledge to help advocate for what I believe in, and gain more skills to be an effective leader in my community.”
Mia’s focus issue in her application advocated for more resources in schools, including learning materials for students and mental health services and support for teens.
The 2020-2021Girls Inc. National Teen Advocacy Council is comprised of young women ages 14-18, representing Girls Inc. affiliates from around the U.S. and Canada.
I am hoping to share my knowledge and educate other teens from Santa Barbara about issues that may not necessarily be happening here. I want to bring back skills to help other teens be advocates in our community.