Please join us in congratulating Allie Cannington and Jayson Dowker, award winners from the California Coalition for Youth’s Taking Action Conference in Sacramento!

CCY’s annual Taking Action Conference includes speakers, workshops and more, in order to build community, knowledge and connections between young people who have experienced homelessness, service providers and advocates from across the state.

Allie, our Youth Advisory Board Coordinator, took home the Sue Matheson Mentoring Award for developing leadership. We appreciate Allie for inspiring our young people to exercise leadership and voice, never speaking for them but always speaking on their behalf to create an inclusive, intersectional space for personal and professional growth on the issues that matter most.

Allie has led several successful initiatives during their first year with Larkin Street: co-presenting with a Youth Advisory Board member at the 40 to None Summit in 2016; organizing our “Get Out the Vote” effort in advance of the November elections; and importantly, coordinating a consistent youth presence at community meetings, so that youth have a voice in system-level decision-making that affects their lives. Allie’s work at Larkin Street springs from the expression: “Nothing about us without us.” In and out of the workplace, Allie stays accountable to creating empowering environments for social transformation.

Jayson, a youth leader, takes home the Jim Levine Youth Leadership Award for developing leadership and partnerships between youth and adults. We honor Jayson’s commitment to ensuring that marginalized young people – particularly transgender and gender non-binary youth – have full and equal access to all available resources and services provided by our youth-serving partners in the public and nonprofit sectors.

Jayson works at Lavender Youth Recreation & Information Center (LYRIC), where he pursues projects that create social impact, including co-facilitating the UndocuWorkforce internship program for undocumented and allied LGBTQ high schoolers.

Way to go, Allie and Jayson! We’re so lucky to be your colleagues and partners in the work to prevent and end youth homelessness.