ANDREW AVILA

POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER

"The mission of IYT is one that I can resonate with personally. As a youth, I continually struggled with education, due to a lack of guidance and support from home and from school. At one point, I found myself having to switch school districts so that I could attend before and after-school classes, in order to make-up credits and graduate in time with my high school class. Thankfully enough, I found my support system at the age of 20, which encouraged and allowed me to attend community college. Graduating community college enabled me to transfer to UC Davis, obtaining a degree in Philosophy. My education would eventually lead me to the State Capitol, where I would work for 4 years as a senior policy advisor, to the point here I am right now with IYT - providing guidance, support and advocacy for young men of color who struggle academically as I did. This is why the work of IYT is so important to me."