A Chat with YAT


Photo Courtesy of Steve Knollmiller

YAT officers in Irvine work hard to organize many different events available to students throughout the school year.

Dylan Vanek, Front and Back Page Editor

There are several types of clubs on campus, but none like the Youth Action Team (YAT), which meets every Tuesday at lunch. YAT works to empower the students and give them an easier way to take action and become part of a bigger community outside of just their high school.

“The High School Youth Action Team provides high school students the opportunity to participate in the development, implementation and evaluation of services for their peers,” YAT program coordinator Steve Knollmiller explains. “YAT representatives organize teen activities, events, prevention campaigns and represent their peers at various community groups.”

YAT works diligently with local government and schools to provide engaging, safe and fun events that any high school student can participate in. One of these opportunities includes the organization of collaborative projects that give students a chance to conduct research based on their passions.

YAT also organizes informative seminars that discuss how students can deal with stress and anxiety that some may feel when they are overwhelmed by school.

“I would describe YAT as the ASB for all of Irvine,” co-president of YAT Ankith Desai said. “Every event we facilitate is centered around what the students want, making them a great resource for any high school student.”

YAT manages most of the community service opportunities available to students looking to get involved and help the community. They strive to provide service opportunities that interest any type of student in Irvine such as habitat cleanups, research opportunities and feeding the poor.

“Through civic engagement, young people gain work experience, acquire new skills, learn responsibility and accountability, develop a greater sense of confidence, empowerment, and membership and forge meaningful connections with other young people and adults,” Knollmiller said.

YAT does not focus exclusively on helping students achieve academic greatness but also allow students to form meaningful relationships with their peers. They work to plan fun social events such as district-wide dances and beach clean ups that not only give students a chance to connect on an academic level but on a personal level as well.