Multilingual Youth Taking Action


Multilingual Youth Taking Action is a student leadership group created to support and grow our multilingual students across the county into the next generation of leaders. These students carry with them unique and vital language and communication skills, values, traditions and lived experiences that make them fully equipped to help lead our community into the future.  

While these attributes are often seen as challenges, Multilingual Youth Taking Action knows them to be valuable assets. That is why our primary mission is to unlock that potential for our English language learning students. By sharing our stories, helping our peers, and celebrating our native cultures and languages we help carve out a place on campus for those who may feel isolated or excluded.  

Our group meets once a week, after school to work on leadership development and building a community of support amongst each other. Envision yourself as a leader. Come join us!


We are currently accepting students for the 2023-24 school year. To join, please click the button to fill out a short application. 

For more information, you can reach out to Marlize Velasco at, or Andres Ortiz at


* Our orientation and first meeting of the 2023-24 school year will be on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 11am-2pm at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education building (400 Encinal St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060). At this meeting we will confirm our weekly meeting times and location. 

Weekly Meetings - TBD for 2023-24 School Year

YLLA Monthly Meetings - Generally first Saturday of the month 10am-2pm with the other YLLA groups (In person only):

Projects and Events

Wold Languages Showcase

This year, Multilingual Youth Taking Action is participating in, and helping to organize the World Language Showcase! The showcase celebrates multilingualism through student poetry recitation, and interactive poster presentations on topics ranging from social and environmental issues to personal stories. 

For more information visit:


Marlize Velasco

My name is Marlize Velasco. I was born and raised here in Santa Cruz. I grew up as a west side kid until I was fourteen when I moved to my home now Live Oak. I graduated from Cypress High School class of 2021. Originally, I was going to go straight to a four year university  however, I listened to myself and I knew I wasn't  ready to leave Santa Cruz. So I decided  to stay and enroll at Cabrillo. One of the reasons why I chose to stay back is that I knew I wanted to give back to my community. My efforts of wanting to give back to my community is simply to remind young students that they have the option to become a leader. This is why it’s important that spaces like youth leadership advocacy groups are created so the youth feels empowered to have a choice to show up. When I applied to be a part of Youth for Environmental Action facilitated by the County Office of Education I never thought I would gather versatile leadership skills. Versatile leadership skills give me the confidence to keep going in my leadership ventures. As of right now I’m co facilitating a new leadership group that is centered around Multilingual students. I’m super excited to work with these students so I can learn from them. Something that I have gathered by listening to all my meteors is that one will never stop learning even as a leader.