Sacramento Youth Alliance


Community Action Team

The Sacramento Youth Alliance Community Action Team (SYA CAT) is a member of the national Opportunity Youth United (OYU) Community Action Team movement. SYA 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.

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
  • SYA will provide a platform that will allow youth to speak their truth to power
  • Create a positive environment for everyone to partake in actively and belong to
  • Train youth as youth voice advocates and social change soldiers
  • Engage in youth-led advocacy projects
  • Engage with city, state, and federal policies affecting the Sacramento community
  • Build relationships between youth, policy makers, and community action leaders in Sacramento  
  • Foster cross cultural and cross generational relationships by engaging in conversations and projects with members of different age groups and identity backgrounds
  • Increase opportunities of success among youth

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.

“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.


  • 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 go to:

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

  • Providing individual training and support to young people on the Community Action Teams; and,
  • Supporting young people to develop the skills and tools to create systemic changes- impacting the social systems that impact the realities of youth starting with Opportunity Youth United’s Recommendations to Increase Opportunity and Decease Poverty in America.


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.

Monthly SYA CAT Meetings

The SYA CAT youth advocates meet monthly and welcome new and interested youth and adult allies to all meetings. Meetings are an opportunity to welcome new members, learn about the work of SYA and help strategize on how best to ensure youth voice is heard in the Sacramento area.

Join us: For information about the next meeting, email us at:

Image of community members gathered for SYA event.

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