Every week, we’ll share the story of an inspiring YouCAN Advocate in the 50CAN network. These local leaders bring a variety of powerful experiences and innovative ideas for catalyzing change in their communities.

Meet a YouCAN Advocate

Today we’re pleased to introduce Yannell Selman, a member of the YouCAN class of 2017. Yannell is a native Miamian, the daughter of Cuban immigrants, and like many of our Advocates, is focusing her project on advocacy in her hometown. Yannell has a story grounded in service and community organizing. She attended Northwestern University (Go Wildcats!) and joined Teach For America after college, where she taught English-language learners in Richmond, California. This experience demonstrated to Yannell the importance of empowering and magnifying community voice. After her time in the classroom, Yannell worked in a number of organizing roles throughout the California Bay Area.

Yannell’s YouCAN project is launching P.S. 305—an educational organization of parents, students and other residents of Miami. P.S. 305’s model is centered on three core values: transparency, leadership and impact. Through the work of P.S. 305, community members will have greater access to and a heightened understanding of the education system in Miami-Dade. P.S. 305 will also identify and develop a diverse group of community leaders by hosting trainings on community organizing. In building a network of organized community members, P.S. 305 will achieve measurable and impactful victories at the neighborhood and city level, establishing a network of 500 stakeholders by the end of 2017.

To find out more about the other members of the YouCAN Class of 2017, check back on the blog next week.

Marc Porter Magee Ph.D is the CEO and founder of 50CAN: The 50-State Campaign for Achievement Now. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia.


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