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Last updated on April 18, 2014 at 21:21 EDT

California Youth Leaders Spend a Day at Harvard for High Profile Launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Focused on Youth Empowerment

February 29, 2012


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Feb. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Today, 18 youth leaders selected from communities across the state by The California Endowment take part in the official launch of Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, an ambitious new effort focused on empowering youth to be leaders and advocates in their communities.

Led by Lady Gaga’s mother, Cynthia Germanotta, the Born This Way Foundation has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment. BTWF, a non-profit charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development through research, education and advocacy (see www.BornThisWayFoundation.org).

Youth were selected to attend today’s Harvard conference in recognition of their leadership in The California Endowment’s 10-year $1 billion effort to improve community health in 14 underserved communities across the state. These communities are working to improve their neighborhoods and schools and the BTWF mission to empower youth advocates to help change the places where they live, work, learn and play is perfectly aligned with the communities’ Health Happens Here initiative to create environments where all can live long, safe and healthy lives.

During the Born This Way launch event, California youth will take part in training to learn how to advance social change through digital and social media advocacy, and will be posting multimedia content live throughout the day of the event. The youth also join in a Harvard-sponsored youth summit titled “Prevent Bullying, Create Caring Communities” involving more than a hundred young people from Boston and other communities. California youth also will tour the Harvard University campus.

“We are thrilled to welcome this courageous group of California youth to the official launch of the Born This Way Foundation,” said Cynthia Germanotta. She added, “The bravery and leadership they’ve demonstrated in helping prioritize community health issues in their neighborhoods and schools is exactly what we hope to inspire across the country.”

The California youth delegation will be accompanied by California Endowment CEO Robert K. Ross, who believes strongly in the importance of youth leadership in advocating for improved community health.

“Opportunities like this don’t come often and we jumped at the chance to involve some of our Health Happens Here community youth leaders in this unique event that will empower, educate, and inspire them with ideas about how to make they can take back to their communities,” said Dr. Robert K. Ross, M.D., President and CEO of The California Endowment. “We’re thrilled to have a strong and vocal new ally for our youth in the Born This Way Foundation and Lady Gaga.”

At the conference, The California Endowment and Blue State Digital (a leading digital strategy agency) will cohost a Youth Advocacy Bootcamp at which youth leaders from around the country can be trained in online advocacy and the themes shared by Born This Way Foundation and The California Endowment.

The foundation’s launch day at Harvard will culminate in a keynote address by Lady Gaga, who will be joined by Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Deepak Chopra, U.S Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and other luminaries committed to the ideals of the Born This Way Foundation to “lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.”

MEET CALIFORNIA’S YOUTH LEADERS HERE:
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLD19A43C0AF923F26

FOLLOW THE CALIFORNIA YOUTH DELEGATION ONLINE VIA THEIR TUMBLR PAGE:
http://bornbraveca.tumblr.com/ and via Twitter hashtag #BornBraveCA!

WATCH LADY GAGA’S LIVESTREAMED KEYNOTE ONLINE:
http://bornthiswayfoundation.org/live

LEARN MORE ABOUT CALIFORNIA’S YOUTH LEADERS:
http://www.kget.com/news/local/story/Local-teen-selected-for-Lady-Gagas-foundation/_2ZcZSPmIUyn0DWrykR97Q.cspx
http://www.kpbs.org/news/2012/feb/27/san-diego-activist-heads-lady-gaga-foundation-laun/
http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/02/23/2242549/gvhs-grad-to-be-part-of-official.html
http://www.mydesert.com/article/20120220/NEWS01/202200340/Coachella-youths-join-launch-Lady-Gaga-s-Born-Way-Foundati

California Youth Leaders Include:
Alyssa Castro, Merced
Jessica Pompa, Eastern Coachella Valley
Tony Aguilar, Eastern Coachella Valley
Berenice Sanchez, South Kern
Bogdan Davis, Del Norte
Chris Covington, Long Beach
Dolly Vang, South Sacramento
Dulce Saavedra, Santa Ana
Edgardo Cervano-Soto, Richmond
Sompong Viengvilai, Richmond
Enrique Antonio, Boyle Heights
Jose Hernandez, East Salinas
Jaleesa Vickers, Fresno
Luis Pacheco , Fresno
Maricela Hernandez, Fresno
Mark Tran, City Heights San Diego
Marquis Liggins, South Los Angeles
Olondis Walker, East Oakland

The California Endowment is a private, statewide health foundation, which was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, The Endowment has regional offices in Sacramento, Oakland, Fresno and San Diego, with program staff working throughout the state. The Endowment challenges the conventional wisdom that medical settings and individual choices are solely responsible for people’s health. The Endowment believes that health happens in neighborhoods, schools, and with prevention. For more information, visit The Endowment’s homepage at www.calendow.org

SOURCE The California Endowment


Source: PR Newswire