My name is Felix Moran and I am a Latino young adult from Phoenix, Arizona. I am a YouthBuild alumnus who graduated 3 years ago. Armando Fontes, the YouthBuild coordinator, saw leadership potential in me while I attended the program. He suggested I attend one of the Starbucks community programs that focused on helping disengaged youth or Opportunity Youth. That program is called “Solutions City.” Solutions City focuses on tackling the issue of youth unemployment, especially for low-income young adults. Starbucks and the City of Phoenix started working together to address these civic challenges. I attended and voiced my opinions amongst all the organizations there. While at the meeting, a program called Public Allies gave me their flyer. I attended one of their workshops and I fell in love with the program. Once I completed YouthBuild, I finally knew what I wanted to do next. Due to complications, I couldn’t enroll immediately within the Public Allies program; however, I finished Public Allies this year. Also, I have been involved with the Opportunities for Youth 100K initiative in Phoenix, Arizona and participated as a youth leader at the Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund Convening in Boston, MA in May 2017. I am privileged to share my story with The Arizona Republic newspaper and National Public Radio. I assisted the City of Phoenix Council as an Advocate for Youth’s Issues representative as well as volunteered passing out information within the community for YouthBuild, Public Allies, Year UP, and Arizona Center for Youth Resources (ACYR). I have initiated a Facebook group called “Youth of Phoenix” where I also share these community resources.
Recently, I began working at ACYR because I know that this is one great organization with which to be engaged. ACYR offers many programs that assist you to improve your life – personally, professionally, and economically. Well, who wouldn’t want to also get paid while going to school? I look forward to making a difference in the lives of other young people just as ACYR has made a difference in mine.