Sacramento Youth Alliance


Community Action Team

SYA CAT team members take action to build a society that respects and protects the rights of all young people. SYA CAT is founded and led by youth aged 16-24, who champion inclusivity, diversity, and sustainable opportunities to give youth voice.

Be Part of a Youth Led Network. Be a Leader & Change Maker.

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What We Do

  • Give underrepresented youth a platform to amplify their voice and ideas
  • Create a positive and enriching environment for young people
  • Give young people skills to become youth voice advocates
  • Engage in youth-led advocacy projects
  • Engage with city, state, and federal policies affecting the Sacramento community
  • Build relationships between young people, policy makers, and community action leaders in Sacramento  
  • Foster cross-cultural and cross-generational relationships
  • Increase opportunities of success for young people

Upcoming Events

Register for SYA Events.

June 2024
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“I joined SYA CAT to help eliminate the barriers young people face because of the color of their skin. To erase stereotypes and erase all limits set by others. To make my voice heard on issues only we youth face.” -Oscar Cervantes, Cofounder SYA.

Our Mission

The SYA Cat works as an action arm providing youth with the tools and opportunities needed to thrive within the Sacramento community. We strive to engage, empower, and mobilize youth to enhance the quality of life in underrepresented areas. Through grassroots advocacy opportunity youth become the voice for the voiceless and SYA is the platform where youth speak their truth to power. Within this community of learning opportunity youth allocate endless hope and become the best version of themselves.


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Opportunity Youth United (OYU) is a national movement of young leaders who represent the real lives behind the numbers of opportunity youth in the United States. All those in the movement have suffered all manner of difficulties, including child abuse, foster care placements, homelessness, traumatic loss, incarceration, discrimination and violence, school suspensions and drop-outs. Yet, they have emerged from these experiences not defeated, but empowered. Empowered to drive their own lives and futures, and to reach back and strengthen their communities for their peers, families, and future generations. For more, visit:

AES serves as the OYU anchor organization for Sacramento and supports SYA CAT to advocate for the issues most important to Sacramento youth which includes:


In the United States, 5.6 million young people between 16 and 24 are neither in school nor employed. About half of them are living in poverty. Opportunity Youth are these young people. Those who have not had the opportunity or pathway to success. Young people who have spent time out of school and out of work—formerly called at-risk or disconnected youth—appreciate the new language that has emerged: “opportunity youth.” It accurately reflects the twin facts that they are seeking opportunity and that they offer a major opportunity to our nation if it will invest in them and their peers.

“I joined the SYA CAT to make sure ALL young people in Sacramento will have more opportunities in their future.” -Jacie McCalister, SYA Social Media Specialist.

Partnership with Sac Kids First Coalition

The SYA-Cat has been involved with the Sacramento Kids First Coalition since its inception and continues to push towards improving the life chances of young people alongside our SKF community partners. In early April, the SYA-Cat took lead in hosting a Sac Kids First retreat with partners and coalition members building trust, communication, and support in the hopes of strengthening relations among the coalition. As we continue to engage in Sac Kids First relations around the Sacramento Children and Youth Health and Safety Act, we look towards our partners to continue improving the life chances of young people for the Youth of Sacramento.


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