Youth Advisory Council

We educate policymakers, service providers, and community officials throughout California about the experiences, needs and opinions of our state’s youth and young adults.

What is the CCSWG Youth Advisory Council?

In 2022, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) recognized that the voices of our younger constituents were not being represented. In response to that need, we created the Youth Advisory Council (YAC). Having a youth-centered approach ensures that CCSWG is including the voices of all our constituents. The YAC is a group of young residents (ages 12-19) of California brought together to increase youth involvement in California’s public policy efforts. Through this council, CCSWG shall keep youth engaged through thoughtful conversations, experienced speakers, and advocacy and leadership development, resulting in the development of a Girls Agenda for the Commission.

*All references to ‘women and girls’ include gender-expansive individuals (cis women and girls, trans women and girls, nonbinary individuals, gender-nonconforming individuals, genderqueer individuals, and any women or girl identified individuals).

Press Releases


California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls 

Youth Advisory Council Business Meeting 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 4:30 p.m. 

Microsoft Teams meeting 

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Meeting ID: 275 915 886 933  
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+1 916-245-8850,,918120186#   United States, Sacramento 

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  1. Welcome and Call to Order – Program Director  
  1. Roll Call  
  1. Welcome video from First Partner 
  1. CCSWG Commissioner Introductions 
  1. YAC Officer discussion (Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary) 
  1. YAC Charter discussion 
  1. Cal.Gov.Code § 11133 – Teleconference public meeting locations 
  1. Public Comment – including matters not on the agenda* 
  1. Adjourn 


Public comments will be taken on agenda items at the time the specific item is raised unless it is a closed session item. Agenda items may be taken out of order to accommodate speakers and to maintain a quorum. Please check the Commission’s website for updates, as the meeting may be rescheduled. For verification of the meeting, access the Commission’s website at Time limitations for discussion and comment will be determined by the Chair.  

*In addition to public comment regarding each agenda item, the Commission affords an opportunity to members of the public to address the Commission on items of interest that are within the Commission’s jurisdiction but are not on the noticed agenda. The Commission is not permitted to act on items that are not on the noticed agenda but may refer items for future consideration. 

Disability Access  

Any person with a disability who wishes to receive this Notice and Agenda in an alternative format, or who wishes to request auxiliary aids or services to participate in the meeting of the Commission, in accordance with State or Federal law, should contact Darcy Totten at mail to: no later than five (5) business days before the noticed meeting day.  

The Commission and its subcommittees comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act by ensuring that the meeting facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities, and providing that this notice and information given to the members of the board is available to the public in appropriate alternative formats when requested.  

Contact Information  

Please contact Darcy Totten to submit written material regarding an agenda item or to request special accommodations for persons with disabilities, or non-English language translations. Requests for information prior to the meeting may be directed to Darcy Totten at the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls at To view this agenda online please visit our website at 

California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Announces Inaugural Youth Advisory Council Members


March 30, 2023


California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls Announces Inaugural Youth Advisory Council Members

SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls (CCSWG) is pleased to welcome the first ever California Youth Advisory Councilmembers to the Inaugural CCSWG Youth Advisory Council (YAC).

We deserve to be safe, respected, and treated fairly,” said Serena Griffin, CCSWG Youth Advisor. “As a girl who stands on the shoulders of so many phenomenal women, I am deeply passionate about doing my part to build a society where all girls and women can truly thrive.”

YAC members will provide insight to the Commission on policies, procedures, and legislation affecting girls throughout California. Members of the Council were chosen from all regions of California and will meet and interact with other youth, Commissioners, CCSWG staff, and other professionals in the public and private sectors, resulting in the empowerment of young women and girls to become advocates for themselves and their communities.

Members of the Youth Advisory Council will write and propose for adoption a formal charter that outlines their goals pertaining to issue areas which include, but are not limited to: Reproductive rights, gender equity in the workplace, gender equity in education and sports, violence against women and girls, mental health, safety and treatment of transgender women and girls, and California policy and legislation.

“Women veterans, sexual violence, and women’s health education are three topics I am deeply passionate about,” said Anagha Rajesh, CCSWG Youth Advisor. “Through conversations with fellow young women and inspiring leaders…I hope to become a confident advocate for women’s rights.”

The Commission on the Status of Women and Girls works in a culturally inclusive manner to promote equality and justice for all women and girls by advocating on their behalf with the Governor, the Legislature, and other public policymakers, and by educating the public in the areas of economic equity and other key issue areas identified by the Commission as significantly affecting women and girls.

I am passionate about the issue of gender norms and the damage they cause… sexism in education and school environments… and creating a safe space for other gay and trans youth,” said CCSWG Youth Advisor Eli Reeves Tordilla.

In establishing this Youth Advisory Council, CCSWG will take one more critical step toward inclusion, equitable representation, and continue the work of bringing the voices of those impacted by state policy directly to those responsible for creating it.

I want to make the world a better place and I think this is the perfect place to start,” said Kyra Knight, CCSWG Youth Advisor. 

The members of the Youth Advisory Council are keenly aware of the needs of the girls in their communities,” said Kimberlee Vaye, CCSWG Program Director. “Their insight, knowledge, and lived experiences, will all be brought to the table and their collective voice will impact change in California communities.

At the conclusion of their one-year term, the council will have contributed to the creation of a Girls Agenda to be adopted by the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls. The Girls Agenda will include issue areas that the Commission will need to advocate for in terms of legislation and policy at a state level.

This council isn’t just a collection of students from around California but future female politicians, healthcare workers, and CEOs,” said Thao Yun, CCSWG Youth Advisor. “I hope to be a part of something bigger than myself to see how the world around me grows.

To learn more about the California Commission on the Status of Women Youth Advisory Council visit


About the Commission

For more than 50 years, the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls has identified and worked to eliminate inequities in state laws, practices, and conditions that affect California’s women and girls. Established as a state agency with 17 appointed commissioners in 1965, the Commission regularly assesses gender equity in health, safety, employment, education, and equal representation in the military, and the media. The Commission provides leadership through research, policy and program development, education, outreach and collaboration, advocacy, and strategic partnerships.


Press Contact:

Darcy Totten, Director of Communications

916.261.6705 (cell)


Meet the Inaugural CCSWG Youth Advisory Council!

YAC members represent a diverse cross section of the California population. 2023-2024 Membership is comprised of youth ages 12-19 from the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Glenn, Los Angeles, Madera, Orange, Sacramento, San Bernadino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, and Ventura.

Kaitlyn Uesugi

San Bernadino County 

Anna McMillan

San Mateo County 

Penelope Oliver

Sacramento County 

Yuzuna Kudo

Los Angeles County 

Riya Yarlagadda

Ventura County

Maya Henry

Los Angeles County 

Bhajleen Khalsa 

San Joaquin County 

Natalia Armas

Stanislaus County 

Sage Calderaz

San Bernadino County

Rebecca Wang

Santa Clara County

Noelle Hardy

Los Angeles County

Nora Lounibos 

Sonoma County

Hannah Satuito 

San Mateo County 

Diana Haus

Sacramento County 

Kyra Knight 

Solano County

Tabatha Gachuzo

San Bernadino County 

Isabella Murillo

Contra Costa County 

Eli Reeves Tordilla

Los Angeles County

Abigail Shih

Orange County

Oz Rafer

San Francisco County

Shae Dellamaggiore

Madera County 

Thao Yun

San Diego County

Anagha Rajesh

Santa Clara County

Yasmeen Arteaga

Los Angeles County 

Phoebe Seigel

San Francisco County

Serena Griffin

Alameda County

Martha Pattison

Glenn County

“Acting as a voice for women in decisions that directly impact their livelihood is incredibly important to me, as I wish to be a part of the process of moving towards a better tomorrow.”

Natalia Armas

Stanislaus County

Our Mission


The role of the CCSWG YAC is to operate in an advisory capacity by providing current knowledge, critical thinking, and analysis to increase the confidence of the Commission’s decision-makers and that they have a reliable connection with young women of our state.

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) meeting times and dates are TBD*.  Agendas will be sent prior to each meeting. Each YAC member will be asked to make a one-year commitment. 

*Meetings will be virtual. There may be other opportunities throughout the year to meet in smaller groups (virtual or in person) or attend special events. These are in addition to the bi-monthly meetings.


YAC Membership

• Members shall be between the ages of 12-19
• Membership shall be diverse (i.e., ages, abilities, ethnicities, backgrounds, and geographical areas)
• Elections shall be held for Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary
• Chair: Leads by example and is the primary liaison between the Commissioners, Commission staff and the YAC members. Ensures structures and procedures are in place for effective meetings. Effectively communicates with YAC Vice Chair, Secretary, and Commission to develop and disseminate meeting agendas and minutes on time. Possesses effective communication and time-management skills needed in order to lead meetings and follow up with necessary parties on action items.
• Vice Chair: Assists Chair in carrying out important tasks such as agenda development and dissemination of pertinent information. Works closely with Chair and stands in place of Chair if Chair is absent.
• Secretary: Takes meeting minutes. Sends minutes to CCSWG staff for review, prior to dissemination to YAC members and Commissioners.

“As I serve my community, I hope to empower more DESI women to get involved in advocating for their community’s needs. This will break the systematic issues …Speaking out on cases like sexual assault, and domestic violence cases affecting brown communities.” 

Bhajleen Khalsa

San Joaquin County

YAC Handbook

Please click the button below to download the 2023 -2024 CCSWG Youth Advisory Council Handbook.

I think that we, as a state, are capable of many things that will drive us closer and closer towards equity and human kindness, and I want to be involved in that... I want to gain the experience of advocating for youth at a state-level. 

Oz Rafer

San Francsico County

YAC Meeting Schedule

Youth Advisory Council (YAC) 2023-2024 Meeting Dates
Agenda and Team link will be sent to council members via e-mail prior to each meeting. Meeting information will also be posted on CCSWG’s webpage 10 days prior to meeting.

April 17, 2023 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (closed)

May 16, 2023 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (open)

July 18, 2023 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. (open)

September 20, 2023 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (open)

November 15, 2023 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (open)

January 17, 2024 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. (open)

Final meeting March 2024 date/time/location TBD