Youth of the Year 2016
“The Club has always been my home; a place that I could count on to feel safe and supported by people who love and care about me, even when the actual place that I lived did not meet those standards.”
When Jocelyn joined her Club at age five, it gave her something priceless – a place to call home. Living in a community where drugs, crime and gangs were rampant, Jocelyn found stability behind her Club’s blue door. It provided her with positive, caring relationships with adults who showed her that her present did not have to dictate her future.
That encouragement pushed her to excel. When she no longer felt challenged in school, she applied to a private school, where she was awarded a scholarship. She used coding skills learned at her Club to secure internships, and even coded her own photo sharing app. She has dedicated herself to helping teens who are struggling with the same issues she faced, going so far as to spend a week in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco to better understand homelessness. She also founded the Under-represented Teen Advocacy Program (U.T.A.P.), a nonprofit that connects Bay-area teens in need with available services.
Jocelyn plans to study journalism at University of Southern California and become a journalist, lawyer and entrepreneur.